If you and your significant other are parting ways and you have a child or children together, the best advice anyone can give you is to insulate your child(ren) from your disputes. Certainly all of us want our children to grow up and be in a happy and healthy relationship. We certainly do not want our children to think it’s “normal” for them to dislike their significant other, or be in an unhappy relationship. Therefore, you are urged to set an example for your children when separating from your significant other.
When two people are splitting up, there is no question that the most important issue that needs to be resolved is custody of the children. This issue is typically the most contentious and emotional issue in a divorce/breakup. Usually, each parent has their own attorney, however, the children are unrepresented (in the vast majority of cases). As such, it is incumbent upon both parents (and their respective attorneys) to safeguard the best interest of the children as much as possible, even if that means putting the children’s interests before either party’s interests. If both parties agree that the children’s interests are paramount to their own interest, an amicable resolution of any issues involving the children will be accomplished.
While I do not advocate that the parties in an unhappy relationship should “stay together for the kids”, it is absolutely imperative that the parents insulate the children from any and all bad feelings each parent has towards the other parent. Additionally, the parents in such circumstances should not hesitate to have the children participate in counseling to make sure the children remain emotionally healthy during the dissolution of their parents’ relationship.