If you are getting a divorce from your spouse, you may have ill feelings toward that person. Your anger and resentment may be so intense that you want to bad-mouth your ex-spouse every chance you get. However, doing so will likely only serve to perpetuate a hostile situation. It can also be damaging to your children, and it can even affect the outcome of the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities.
The Downsides of Bad-Mouthing Your Former Spouse
Speaking poorly about your former spouse can be harmful to both you and your kids. Keep in mind that your ex-spouse is still your children’s parent. Just because you no longer get along with your ex, that does not mean he or she is any less of a parent to your children. Your children still love your ex-spouse and look up to him or her. It will be hurtful for your kids to hear you speaking poorly about someone they care about, and they may feel forced to take sides. Being caught in the middle like this is a lose-lose situation for a child, who will likely feel guilt and shame because they are unable to make both parents happy. Children may even feel that they are doing something wrong themselves, which can lead them to develop self-esteem issues.
Bad-mouthing your former spouse can also negatively impact your standing in disputes over the allocation of parental responsibilities. Illinois courts decide on these issues based on what is in your children’s best interests, and one factor that they consider is each parent’s willingness to support their children’s relationships with the other parent. If you show that you will remain hostile toward your former spouse and endanger these relationships, you may be granted less parenting time and decision-making authority.
No matter how angry you are with your ex-spouse, there are healthier alternatives to constantly casting aspersions toward them. One strategy is to step back and consider the bigger picture. The two of you are finalizing your divorce and will no longer have to live under the same roof, and you will be able to move on and live your own life. At the same time, you will have to continue working together to raise your children, and doing your best to get along with your former spouse is important for their well-being.
Instead of talking poorly about your former spouse when you are upset, you can deal with your emotions in more productive ways. For example, you could write in a journal or exercise. You could also seek help from a therapist or another mental health professional who can help you come to terms with your emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Contact an Oak Park, IL Divorce Lawyer
If you and your spouse want to get divorced, an experienced Hillside, IL divorce lawyer can help you do so in a way that minimizes hostility and conflict. At the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., we know how stressful the divorce process is, and we can assist you every step of the way. Contact our office at 708-449-7404 to schedule a free consultation.