Often, when two people who have a child separate and then get divorced, they don’t realise that they may be simply exchanging one set of problems for another. Certainly, you won’t have to live with your former spouse, but you usually still have to have some dealings with them if you have children. Why?
Even if you have full custody of your child, your ex still has a right to see them. This means you will have to call to arrange times and dates and you may have to take your child to their other parent’s home and pick them up afterwards. Or it may be that they will do all the calling and arranging for pick-ups and drop offs. It doesn’t matter; you still have to talk to them.
But what if you have shared custody? You may have agreed to shared custody thinking it would be good for both you and the child. It certainly gives your ex more involvement with the child. However, this can pose an even bigger problem especially if your former spouse is difficult to get on with. Your ex will have a bigger say in all the decisions that affect your child. They will have a say in what sports they play, what other after school activities they do and even in what school they go to. If the two of you can’t agree on any of these things, there will still be arguments.
If your child is ill, they may have a say in which doctor they should go to and what treatment should be given. This can add a lot of trauma to the situation, especially if your ex is from a different culture that has specific ideas on medical treatment. It can even put the child’s life at risk, depending on the circumstances.
These days it’s essential for children to have a good education. Not all cultures believe that girls need to be educated or have a career. This can cause a great deal of difficulty in a situation where the mother cares for the children most of the time and feels it should be her responsibility to choose what the child does or doesn’t do. That is why it is important to consider what type of custody you apply for.
Divorce is never as easy as it may seem, especially when there are children involved. Sometimes, things seem to get worse before they get better. It is important to communicate openly with your child about what is happening during and after the divorce and how it will affect them. This should be done without going into too much detail about your own feelings and hurts, as this is too much for young children to handle.