Do’s and Don’ts of Divorce

This is a simple list of how to act and react with the other parent to facilitate a good relationship between the parents. Also, a simple list of do’s and don’t’s of divorceĀ such as the following may help you express the difficulties which have caused the custody dispute to arise.


  • Do act cooperatively
  • Do act in a courteous and civil manner
  • Do respect the relationship between your children and your spouse’s parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews.
  • Do your homework! Provide all the documentation and infromation regarding your income, assets, expenses, and debts.
  • Do understand that the divorce action is highly emotional, but that being civil and courteous will benefit you and your children.
  • Do allow your spouse access to your children.
  • Do allow your spouse to have information regarding the children’s education, religious activity, and medical care.
  • Do communicate with your spouse regarding the children.
  • Do encourage your children to talk about the process and express their feelings.
  • Do explore options for settlement of all issues involved in the divorce.
  • Do commit to continuing in a cooperative way with your spouse after the divorce for the benefit of your children.
  • Do commit to resolving post-dissolution disputes with your (ex)spouse through non-adversarial means, such as open communication and mediation.
  • Do allow a time for healing for you, your spouse, and your children.
  • Do recognize when you and/or your children need therapeutic counseling to adjust to the divorce.
  • Do commit to the belief that while the divorce separates a family, it does not destroy it.
  • Do listen to your lawyer’s advice.
  • Do follow the recommendation of health care professionals for you and for your children.
  • Do encourage your former spouse to be involved in activities of the children.
  • Do find effective means of communication with your former spouse.


  • Do not hide assets.
  • Do not misrepresent your income, assets and debts.
  • Do not interfere with your spouse’s relationship with your children.
  • Do not EVER speak badly of your spouse to your children.
  • Do not EVER speak badly of your spouse’s family to your children.
  • Do not make allegations of neglect or abuse just to improve your position in the dissolution action.
  • Do not withhold any information that would affect the distribution of your marital estate or determination of custody and parenting time.
  • Do not use illegal or illicit drugs in the presence of your children.
  • Do not introduce a girlfriend/boyfriend to the children too soon after separation from your spouse.
  • Do not take an action to court, either during the divorce or after it, without first attempting to resolve it amicably.
  • Do not allow your emotions to control your divorce action.
  • Do not schedule children’s activities during your spouse’s parenting time without his/her consent.
  • Do not have your child act as a messenger or act as a mediator between you and your spouse.
  • Do not lie to yours spouse about your children.
  • Do not make significant changes in the children’s home, school, or extracurricular environment without first thinking of the effects the change will have on your children.
  • Do not make decisions in the heat of the moment, but rather take the time to reflect and examine the situation.
  • Do not act badly to your spouse in the presence of your children.
  • Do not compromise your belief that the children’s needs are above all else in the dissolution action.
  • Van Gilder & Trzynka, P.C.
    436 East Wayne Street
    Fort Wayne, IN 46802
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  • New Haven office
    435 Ann Street
    New Haven, IN 46774
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  • Phone: 260-424-8132
    Toll Free: 888-255-7910
    Fax: 260-969-5361