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Can I protect our child from knowing ugly divorce details?

Divorce is not always pretty. You might be completely in favor of settling and resolving issues peacefully and fairly. However, if the other spouse adopts a contentious -- or downright spiteful -- position, you may have no choice but to engage in a divorce battle in court to protect your rights.

If you're in the throes of a difficult divorce, you could be worried about your child later growing up to see the divorce pleadings and other information related to the proceedings. Some of the information revealed could be damaging to your child's self-esteem and/or to you and the other parent's loving relationship with your child.

Through the use of parenting provisions in your child custody and parenting plan agreements, you can include language that prevents the sharing of divorce details with your child. Parenting provisions like this might state the following:

  • Parents cannot discuss details pertaining to their divorce with their children unless those details relate to upcoming parenting plan schedules. Issues that come up in the proceedings that relate to visitation and child care may not be discussed unless they are done so under the instruction and guidance of a licensed therapist.
  • Parents cannot read, share or show documents relating to the divorce case with their children. This covers all documents such as letters, pleadings, mediation reports, declarations and expert evaluations.

In addition to the strategic use of parenting provisions, parents -- who want to minimize the negative psychological consequences that divorce could have on their children -- may want to discuss different strategies with their family law attorney. They may also want to talk about this topic with an experienced family therapist.

Source: CustodyXChange, "Parenting provisions," accessed Oct. 11, 2017

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