It’s a phrase many people have heard since they were kids: “honesty is the best policy”. This bit of common wisdom is something that divorcing parents may especially want to take to heart. There are many contexts in which honesty is very important when going through a divorce when a parent.
Being honest with the kids
One is when talking to the kids about the divorce. This includes the initial announcement of the divorce to the children. As a recent article noted, in such announcements, parents should be honest about why the divorce is happening. Now, this doesn’t mean that a parent has to get into all the details. What details to include, and not include, depends on what would be age-appropriate for the kids.
Also, as a divorce progresses, it is critical for parents to give their kids as clear of explanations as they can on how the divorce will impact everyday family life. This can give children a heads-up on what changes the future will likely see, which could put them in a stronger position to adjust to these changes. As a parent is being honest with his or her kids on this front, it is also important to be reassuring and supportive.
Being honest with your ex
After a divorce, a parent may end up having all kinds of conversations with his or her ex regarding co-parenting. Honesty can very be important in such conversations. It can help ensure important issues regarding the kids get addressed and could help head off disputes.
Being honest with the court
Child custody matters and similar legal issues in a divorce have major long-term impacts within families. So, a parent might think about stretching the truth in such proceedings to try to strengthen his or her case. However, getting caught in a lie by the court has major repercussions. So, honesty has considerable advantages on this front.
When an ex is dishonest
Unfortunately, a parent being honest during divorce proceedings doesn’t guarantee that his or her ex will reciprocate. What impacts dishonesty by an ex could have in a divorce depends on the circumstances. When a California parent feels an ex isn’t being fully honest when it comes to divorce issues, he or she may want to get guidance from a skilled divorce lawyer on how best to respond.