Do children of divorce have rights?

Children of divorce are being parented by (former) children of divorce at record levels these days. Those of us who have watched parents pioneer the art of tearing their marriage apart taught us all a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Now the children should be the beneficiaries of our wisdom, right? Children from “broken homes” know how hard it can be, and they know all the ways parents can make it easier, more humane, even positive. So, as a lawyer who practices in this area, I think it’s time we set up some ground rules. In that spirit, in this 4th of a 4 part blog, are my ideas on what should be included in any discussion answering the question do children of divorce have rights. In my opinion, the answer to this question is a resounding and unwavering YES!  All children in this situation have the right to their feelings  all of them, whenever they come, whatever they are.  Parents with children going through a divorce must be aware of these rights & feelings and seek to honor them.

25. You have the right to keep your feelings to yourself.

26. You have the right to do your own informal survey of other divorced families to see what plans and arrangements work best for them.

27. You have the right to resources books, websites, articles, support groups  about divorce that are appropriate to your age and emotional maturity.

28. You have the right to be emotionally immature.

29. You have the right to tell your parents your feelings about issues of custody, moving, dating, blending families, changing schools, vacation schedules and anything else you have feelings about.

30. You have the right to worry about your future without anybody telling you “it’s going to be fine, the adults are going to work it all out, just do your homework.”

31. You have the right to be dissatisfied with answers adults give you.

32. You have the right to actively participate in the discussions and choices being made about your future.

33. You have the right to be unconditionally loved by your parents, who really are trying to do their best and who love you very, very much.