Divorce is a difficult process for everyone who is involved, but meddling family members can make it more complicated. This type of interference can make the process even more stressful and difficult.

If you’re dealing with meddling family members during your divorce, consider asking – or requiring – that they refrain from these activities:

1. Choosing sides. One of the most common ways for family members to meddle in a divorce is to choose sides. You may want to ask your family not to do this because of the consequences.

* Family members who choose sides in a divorce actually make the process more difficult. They can prevent or delay conflict resolution and keep the couple from reaching a settlement.

2. Giving advice. Family members often feel they can help by sharing advice. However, unless they are lawyers or therapists, their advice may be incorrect. The wrong advice can create serious legal issues in a divorce.

* Meddling family members can create issues that can hurt your divorce case and have lasting consequences.

* Instead, rely on professional legal and emotional advice.

3. Shaming your ex. Divorce can be messy and complicated, but it’s easier to handle if you don’t allow public shaming. Hurting your ex will only create more anger, resentment, and revenge.

* Your family members shouldn’t be gossiping about your ex or divorce.

* They can offer their support without hurting the other side. This will encourage a healthy and fast resolution.

4. Criticizing the divorce agreement. Your family may feel it’s helping you by criticizing the divorce agreement, but they can actually be creating new issues. You have to ask them not to interfere in the way you settle the divorce.

* Is your family judging your custody battle? Is your family criticizing how many assets you received in the divorce?

* Although they may have good intentions, your family’s criticism can be hurtful and painful. Ask for support and understanding instead.

5. Bothering the children. If your divorce involves children, you certainly don’t want meddling family members making them feel worse about the process or confusing them. Your family needs to understand that you and your ex will be the only ones to discuss the divorce with the kids.

* Children are vulnerable and often have difficulties handling a divorce.

* They can make easy targets for meddling family members who want information from them. They can also plant ideas in the children’s heads and make them worry about the process.

* Establish clear guidelines with your family about the children during the divorce. They need to understand that you’re in charge and will discuss the necessary topics at your own pace. Your children shouldn’t be placed in the center of the divorce or used to gather information.

* Your family members should also refrain from saying negative things about your ex to the children.

6. Fighting with your ex. An argument or a fight with your ex can have lasting consequences and may create further legal challenges.

* Your family may be trying to protect you, but it’s a bad idea to start fights with your ex.

* Physical altercations can lead to court or jail, and the emotional damage can last even longer.

Your divorce doesn’t have to suffer from outside meddling. Learn how to handle meddling family members and make the process easier for everyone involved.