If you are in the middle of a divorce, contemplating one or have had one, it is not easy. It is especially challenging when there are children involved. As a family law practitioner, I have seen some very difficult issues involving minors. It is sad and often unnecessary.

Too often, parents put their children in the middle. Let’s face it, even during a successful marriage, parents have differences raising children. Those differences tend to be magnified when the couple is no longer together. So, if you are in this situation, what can you do?

First and foremost, focus on your commitment to your child(ren). Don’t focus on your angst with your spouse or former spouse. Stop expecting that your ex will somehow change and you will be disappointed much less. Do not relay messages through your children. I repeat, DO NOT RELAY MESSAGES THROUGH YOUR CHILDREN. If you can’t speak with your ex, email him or her.

Secondly, focus on your commitment to yourself and your happiness. Do not focus on your mistakes or the mistakes you made as a couple and most assuredly, stop dwelling on the past mistakes of your ex-spouse (or future ex-spouse). It is that negative attention that sucks away from the love and devotion you may have for your children. I am not saying not to be prepared for mistakes or to take B.S. from your ex. I believe that when you are focused on what will fulfill you, you leave little room to put your child in the middle and also little room for more B.S. with your ex.

Lastly, please recognize that continuing to fight with your ex is costly from a financial and emotional perspective and usually, will detrimentally impact your children. It takes two to fight. It takes one to forgive. It ultimately takes one moment to forgive. You don’t have to forget in order to move on and protect yourself and your children.

In summary, while divorces with children can be extremely tough, they don’t have to be. It may not be easy, but by honoring your commitment to your children above your complaints about your ex, it will be easier.