Every child who has watched their parents go through a divorce and negotiate over child support has likely learned a few important lessons on the issue. However, there doesn’t seem to be much emphasis on getting advice on what the needs of children actually are from the children themselves. This is exactly what a new half hour documentary running on the HBO channel aims to do.
The documentary, Don’t Divorce Me! Kids’ Rules for Parents on Divorce, attempts to tackle the issue of how to treat children during a divorce by asking the source themselves. The advice they have given ranges from the little details to the big picture issues. For instance, making it easy for children to commute between parents sharing visitation could potentially take some of the stress out of the scenario. Another broader issue is making sure the kids know they did nothing wrong and that the situation is not their fault. Behind all of these is another important lesson: ensure that you spend time with your children and continue to give them the consideration they deserve.
Psychologists studying children going through their parents’ divorce require counseling in approximately 10 to 20 percent of cases. These cases often involve more extreme situations, where conflicts may run high between the parents.
Beyond lifestyle and parenting advice, it is also important that parents trying to determine child support and child custody take into consideration the best interests of the child. Oftentimes, when child support considerations cannot be made amicably between the two parents, judges are left to determine the amount. The child’s welfare is often a primary concern, along with the incomes of both parents. While it is undeniably important for parents to do their best to provide their children with personal attention, financial stability is also critical.
Source: USA Today, “When parents divorce, how NOT to treat the kids,” Sharon Jayson, Sept. 20, 2012
HBO airs show with divorce advice from children’s perspective