It is normal and even healthy to have strong, negative emotions during a divorce. If you allow yourself to work through those feelings, you will be able to heal and move on from your failed relationship. However, you have to be careful not to allow your emotions to determine what actions you take.
The choices you make in a moment of extreme anger will not necessarily reflect what is best for your family or even for you as an individual. Especially if you have children with your ex and will share custody following the divorce, you need to be careful not to let your anger at your spouse potentially diminish your rights to parenting time.
You should not harm the relationship between your children and your ex
However difficult it may be, it is your job as a parent to put your kids’ needs ahead of your own wishes. You may want to express your anger at your ex or get your children on your side in the matter, but what they need is a healthy relationship with both of you.
If you start canceling your ex’s parenting time and telling the children they didn’t show up, your children may develop abandonment issues that affect everything from their school performance to their future romantic relationships. If you start bad-mouthing your ex in front of the children, talking about everything they did wrong to you during the marriage, your kids might internalize those complaints, which will make them view your ex poorly or even damage their sense of self-esteem.
Beyond the harm this behavior may cause your children psychologically, such behavior could also hurt your legal case in litigated custody matters. If your ex has proof that you have interfered in their parenting time or negatively affected how the children view them, the courts may decide that you have engaged in parental alienation and may limit your parenting time or authority.
Putting your children first protects your parenting rights
When you keep the focus on your children and your divorce, you can potentially reduce how emotionally damaging the process is for them. You also help show the courts that you are a fit and dedicated parent who will cooperate with the other parent because it is what is best for the children. That, in turn, will put you in the best position for requesting liberal amounts of parenting time.
Understanding how your emotions could affect your custody case can lead to better decisions early in the divorce process.