The Children’s Bill of Rights in Divorce

Divorced parents still must fulfill their responsibilities to their kids, and in my view, children should have rights in divorced families. Here is my Children’s Bill of Rights in Divorce. If you can give yours children these freedoms, you will have gone a long way toward fulfilling your responsibilities as a parent.

            Every child whose parents divorce has:

  1. The right to love and be loved by both of her parents without feeling guilt or disapproval.
  2. The right to be protected from his parents’ anger with each other.
  3. The right to be kept out of the middle of his parents’ conflict, including the right not to pick sides, carry messages, or hear complaints about the other parent.
  4. The right not to have to choose one of her parents over the other.
  5. The right not to have to be responsible for the burden of either of her parents’ emotional problems.
  6. The right to know well in advance about important changes that will affect his life; for example, when one of his parents is going to move of get married.
  7. The right to reasonable financial support during her childhood and through her college years.
  8. The right to have feelings, to express her feelings, and to have both parents listen how she feels.
  9. The right to have a life that is as close as possible to what it would have been if his parents had stayed together.
  10. The right to be a kid.

These rights have neither been defined by law nor can they be protected or enforced by any anyone but parents. To fully enforce and protect your child’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 child from the adult issues of divorce. It’s a tall order, but your children deserve nothing less.