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A Children’s Bill of Rights

Sometimes parents get caught up in anger, competition, fear, revenge or other emotions and lose sight of how their actions impact on their children. For parents going through a divorce, it helps to stop and think about how their words and activities can affect children. For some good thoughts to keep in mind, Stephen M. Worrall, of the Georgia Family Law Blog, has a recent post on a Children's Bill of Rights as follows:

I have posted previously the Children's Bill of Rights from the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys. This is another good list from DivorceHQ, stated from the child's perspective:

We the children of the divorcing parents, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish these Bill Of Rights for all children.

I. The right not to be asked to “choose sides” or be put in a situation where I would have to take sides between my parents. II. The right to be treated as a person and not as a pawn, possession or a negotiating chip. III. The right to freely and privately communicate with both parents. IV. The right not to be asked questions by one parent about the other. V. The right not to be a messenger. VI. The right to express my feelings. VII. The right to adequate visitation with the non-custodial parent which will best serve my needs and wishes. VIII. The right to love and have a relationship with both parents without being made to feel guilty. IX. The right not to hear either parent say anything bad about the other. X. The right to the same educational opportunities and economic support that I would have had if my parents did not divorce. XI. The right to have what is in my best interest protected at all times. XII. The right to maintain my status as a child and not to take on adult responsibilities for the sake of the parent's well being. XIII. The right to request my parents seek appropriate emotional and social support when needed. XIV. The right to expect consistent parenting at a time when little in my life seems constant or secure. XV. The right to expect healthy relationship modeling, despite the recent events. XVI. The right to expect the utmost support when taking the time and steps needed to secure a healthy adjustment to the current situation. Please realize that this is NOT law, anywhere. The “Children's' Bill of Rights” is not legally enforceable, but rather suggestions made to keep the best interest of the child a priority. SOURCE: DivorceHQ.com