The Law Office of Linda Piff highlights the rights of children through mediation
and the collaborative divorce
method. Choosing these No Court Divorce methods is the first step in helping to ensure the transition from one family into two. The divorce process
may be a bumpy and long ride, but these two divorce processes concentrate on putting the children in the driver’s seat. When parents focus on the best interests of their children, divorcing becomes less about one family splitting up, and focuses on two families merging together. If you can give your children the freedoms, rights, and protections below, you will have gone a long way toward fulfilling your responsibilities as parent.
CHILDREN’S BILL OF RIGHTS
- Freedom from Fault.
The freedom from fault includes the freedom from responsibility. Oftentimes, children feel responsible for their parents’ divorce. No parent should make his or her child feel this way.
- Freedom of Choice.
So long as a custody agreement permits, children should have the right to have both parents at any activity that the children participates in. Parents must put aside their differences for the betterment of their children.
- Freedom from Choice.
The freedom from choice ensures that no parent makes a child feel as though he or she must choose a side. Parents should refrain from speaking negatively about each other in the presence of a child.
- Freedom of Expression.
Children must be given the right to express themselves freely. Parents should allow their children to express their feelings regarding the divorce. Parents should not judge their children’s’ feelings, and should allow their children to speak openly about their feelings.
- Right to Support.
Parents should support their children both financially and emotionally. If a parent struggles with supporting a children emotionally, a parent should seek other options, such as a allowing the children to speak with a therapist, to better help the children cope with the divorce.
- Right to Reasonable Notice.
Children should know well in advance about important changes that will affect their lives, including, but not limited to, when the children will spend time with each parent, when the children will be relocating, and when a parent is going to remarry.
- Right to Safety.
Children must have the right to feel safe in their homes, and free from their parents’ anger towards each other. Children should be kept out of their parents’ conflicts, including the right not to pick side, carry messages, or hear complaints about the other parent.
- Freedom from Conflict.
Children should not be placed in the middle of their parents’ conflicts.
- Right to be loved.
Children must have the right to both love and to be loved by both of their parents without feeling guilt or disapproval.
- Right to be a Kid.
When parents choose to split up, children must not feel like they need to grow up. Children have a right to live out their adolescent years, free from feeling like they need to make adult decisions.
These rights have neither been defined by law nor can they be protected or enforced by anyone but parents. To fully enforce and protect your children’s Bill of Rights in divorce
requires your constant vigilance in policing your words and actions, your unflagging commitment to shouldering burdens and making the hard choices that insulate your children from the adult issues of divorce. It’s a tall order, but your children deserve nothing less.