If you've separated from your wife, and you feel as though a divorce is in your imminent future, you might wonder what the correct behavior toward your wife and children is. What will jeopardize your chances for a favorable child custody outcome in court? What kind of behavior might make it easier for you to receive the outcome you're hoping for with regards to your kids? Knowing how you should behave when you're separated can help you keep a level head and deal with the worst kind of situation more easily.
Your Behavior Toward Your Wife - First and foremost, you want to stay calm when dealing with your wife. There's a good chance that there are some bad feelings between you, and while you are probably angry and possibly upset and hurt, it's important to maintain your composure. Any behavior you display toward your wife could come back to haunt you in court. There are also cases where wives have taken out restraining orders against their husbands during a separation, and this could interfere with your ability to see your children. There's no doubt that you'll have to speak with your wife because you have children together, so each time you do so, make sure you maintain your composure and don't lose your head.
Your Behavior Toward Your Children - During a separation, it's important to maintain as much contact with your children as you can. If you've had to leave the house and they're still with their mother, this can be more difficult than if you stayed with the children and the mother left. However, do what you can to maintain the bonds you have. If it's impossible to be cordial to your wife, take the children out of the house for quality time with you. Reassure your children now more than ever that you love them and that you'll never leave their life; that you're still a family even with difficult times on the horizon.
One of the most important things to remember is how to speak about your wife to your children. You should never, ever say hurtful things in an attempt to get your children 'on your side.' This will only serve to hurt your children and it won't help you at all. Remember that even though you and your wife may not love each other anymore, your children will always love both their mother and their father, so when one side is mudslinging against the other, it is painful for them to deal with. Document any negative behavior that your wife displays, and even if she does do this, try your best to stay calm and be the 'bigger' person.