Everyone knows that divorce is difficult for everyone involved, and the children are no exception. Children thrive on stability, and a divorce is one of the most chaotic and unstable times in a family’s life. With so much change and uncertainty, parents need to take time to ensure that their children are coping well with the divorce. Parents also need to realize that their own approach to the divorce can have a huge impact on how the children are able to deal with and process the divorce.
First, make sure you are honest with your children about the fact the divorce is happening. It may be tempting to hide the upcoming changes, especially from young children, but being honest with the kids in a way that is age-appropriate gives the children extra time to process their emotions and understand what is happening. You should be available to answer your children’s questions and encourage them to be open about how they are feeling.
Second, although children should be told that the divorce is happening, bad mouthing or blaming your spouse for the divorce in front of your children can only do damage. It may be tempting to tell your child that your spouse is at fault for the disintegration of your relationship, but this is not productive and could be detrimental to your child. Sharing adult details with your child is not helpful and is inappropriate, regardless of the age of the child.
Third, do not have legal discussions in front of your children. Your children do not need to hear about all the concerns about support or asset division. These issues are important for you and your spouse to discuss, but letting the children overhear arguments or even worries about making sure the bills get paid will only contribute to a child’s feeling of insecurity during a divorce.
Finally, make sure that your child knows that he or she is deeply loved and that the divorce will never change that. Talk to your child about the process and what to expect. It may be beneficial to seek out family counseling to help talk to your child about the divorce and how to help handle their feelings.
If you have questions about child custody or divorce, call us today at 619-800-0384 for a consultation. We are here to help talk with you about your case and what we can do to help get an order that is best for your children.