For more guidance on helping your children after your divorce,
you can reach Nunneley | Family Law at
(817) 270-6635. I serve clients throughout Tarrant County.
My ex-spouse keeps talking to our children about the litigation. Can I
do anything about it?
Children should certainly not be exposed to the details of court actions
involving them. If your former spouse is willing, try going to a counselor
or sitting down with a mutual and trusted friend to work out how to interact
with your children in a positive and appropriate way. If that doesn’t
work, consider court intervention. A judge can make a specific order for
the protection of children that may include orders to refrain from such
discussion or, in some extreme cases, orders that limit or even supervise
the offending party’s access to the child.
My child doesn’t want to visit with my spouse. What should I do?
Unless you believe your child is being harmed, you should support frequent
and ongoing contact with the other parent. Be enthusiastic when you talk
about possession periods by the other parent. Talk about all the activities
your children and the other parent will enjoy. The more supportive you
are of the visit, the more likely your children will want to go and really
enjoy their time.
Our children want to attend their regular sporting practices and games,
but some of those events take place during my spouse’s visitation
days. Doesn’t my spouse have to take our children to these activities?
This question illustrates the importance of co-parenting. Talk to the other
parent about the problem – try to work out an informal solution
if you can. If necessary, talk to
your attorney, but keep in mind that this type of issue will come up repeatedly as you
and the other parent work together to raise the children. Work on give-and-take.
- If you have to go to the Judge, you should talk to your attorney about
the realistic outcome of such action before you file a motion.
As a general rule, do not schedule any activities during the other parent’s
time with the children unless you and the other parent have agreed to such activities.
- Do not involve your children in the problem.
My child keeps asking me when my ex-spouse and I are going to get back
together. What should I say?
Most children want their parents to get back together. It is important
for your child to feel secure, but not to have any unrealistic expectations.
Reassure your child that he or she will always have the love of you and
your former spouse, but that you are going to be living in separate houses
from now on. You should be optimistic about the future of your family.
For example, emphasize the positive parts of the
divorce such as no more arguing, more one-on-one time with each parent, double
My children constantly talk about my ex-spouse’s new love interest.
They have even told me that the new person sleeps over. How should I react?
It is important for your children to feel as though they can come to you
about any subject. If you react negatively about a new love interest,
then they will likely either not get along with that new person or feel
as though talking to you about him or her is a bad idea, particularly
if your children like the new person. Either way, your child loses.
Have a positive attitude. If it’s a new boyfriend or girlfriend of your ex-spouse, encourage
your children to give this person a chance. If it’s a more serious
relationship, then say things to your child that will let him or her feel
good about liking this new person.
Keep open communication. At the same time, remind your children that they can come to you at any
time if there is something about the new person that causes any concern.
Not only will it help your relationship with your child, but it might
also help your relationship with your former spouse. If you are concerned
about the message it is sending to your children to have a new love interest
stay overnight, talk to them about the choice that your former spouse
is making and discuss why it might be a good choice or a bad one.
Talk with a counselor. If your former spouse is willing, try going to a counselor or sitting
down with a mutual and trusted friend or member of the clergy to work
out how to deal with the new love interest in a positive and appropriate way.
Involve the family court. If it gets to be a real problem or if you are against your child being
exposed to adults living as a married couple when they are not, and your
former spouse continues to let it happen, then you can seek court intervention.
Some judges will see it your way and prevent adults of the opposite sex
from spending the night when your children are there. However, if you
do that, you must expect the relationship between you and your former
spouse to be damaged.
My ex-spouse wants to move out-of-state with our kids. What are my options?
Texas public policy favors the children living near both parents. However,
these days we are a very mobile society, and circumstances change sometimes
after an initial
Staying very involved in your children's education, extracurricular, and
social lives after the divorce indicates the children benefit from your
close relationship. Additionally, paying all
child support and healthcare expenses indicates to the court you are an involved parent
and your children benefit from having you close by.
Your best defense to a future move is to be a very involved parent who
is willing to co-parent and share the children with your ex-spouse. Relocation
is a very difficult decision for the court, the parents, and the children.