3 Ways That Children Can Become Pawns In The Divorce Process

During divorce proceedings and in the months ahead, it's ideal if you, your ex-spouse, and your children can develop some sort of normalcy. This is especially important for the children. While many families are able to achieve this goal, it's not always possible — and, in some cases, you and your ex-spouse may use your children as pawns in a convoluted game that is in no one's best interest.

You may slip into the habit of using your children as pawns, but as soon as you realize that you've done so, it's important for you to curb this behavior. You may even wish to consult your divorce attorney for guidance on how to navigate this difficult time. Here are three ways that you may inadvertently make your children pawns.

1. Disobeying Child Support Orders

You may feel upset when the court tells you how much child support you need to pay every month. If you're of a certain mindset, you may even choose to disobey these orders. In this scenario, you're essentially turning your children into pawns — you're making them tools to punish your ex-spouse, because he or she may struggle financially without your support. Disobeying your child support orders can also get you into legal trouble, so you should avoid making this mistake.

2. Failing To Honor Custody Rules

You can also turn your children into pawns when you decide that you aren't going to honor the court's rules for custody. Joint custody is common in many divorces, which means that you and your ex-spouse will each share custody of your kids. There's typically an agreed-upon schedule. 

For example, you might have the children for one week, and he or she might have them the following week. You'll create problems when you don't honor these rules — for example, not having them available for your ex-spouse to pick up at the correct time. This will annoy your ex-spouse because you'll be using your children to inconvenience him or her.

3. Encouraging Them To Choose Sides

It's ideal if your children have a good relationship with you and with your ex-spouse, but some people try to encourage their children to like them more. Whether you make negative comments about your ex-spouse or try to make your visits more fun in a competitive manner, you're using your children as pawns to make your ex-spouse unhappy. 

This will only lead to more problems between you, and often problems with your children. Talk to your family attorney about each of these situations to ensure that you're behaving appropriately. An experienced family lawyer will be able to provide guidance on how to make this time as smooth as possible for you and your children.