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Be careful what you say about your ex around the kids

When going through a divorce, your ex is probably far from your favorite person in the world. There are all sorts of negative feelings towards one's ex that might come out during the course of a divorce. It is important for divorcing individuals to not let such negative feelings spur them into actions that could harm their own interests or be harmful to their kids.

One thing it is important to avoid is allowing negative feelings towards one's ex to control one's decision-making in a divorce. When it comes to decisions in a divorce, such as decisions regarding matters such as property division, child custody, spousal support or child support, one generally is best served by focusing on what would yield the best overall results, not things like how best to get back at one's ex. 

Another area where negative feelings towards one's ex could lead to problems if a person is not careful to avoid allowing such feelings to control their conduct is how a person talks about their ex to and around their children.  

When their parents divorce, children are generally very sensitive when it comes to how their parents talk about one another. What a person says about their ex in front of their kids could affect many things for the children, including: how psychologically able they will be to handle the divorce, what sort of relationship they will be able to have with the other parent and even potentially their future relationships. Consequently, it is important for divorcing parents to exercise care in what they say about their ex to their kids or to others when the kids are around. Some recommendations a recent Washington Post article made when it comes to talking about one's ex to and around the kids are:

  • Keeping the tone neutral or positive.
  • Being mindful that kids tend to take things very literally.
  • Not badmouthing one's ex.
  • Not blaming one's ex for the divorce.
  • Not making passive-aggressive statements about one's ex.

Source: The Washington Post, "How to talk about your co-parent during and after divorce," Samantha Rodman, Nov. 6 , 2015

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