Divorce With Children: How To Help Your Child Through A Divorce
Divorce is hard on everyone involved, but it’s especially hard on kids.
As the parent, it’s your job to make sure your child feels loved and supported throughout the process.
But how do you do that?
There have been countless studies into what age your children should be when you file for divorce and myths surrounding divorce with children, but the truth is every divorce is different.
Many times, the thought of losing moments with your children while they are with your spouse can be the sole reason you do not file for divorce, but something you need to take into consideration is how your unhappiness is affecting your children.
If your marriage is affecting your happiness, there is a good chance your joy in life will decrease and ultimately have an impact on your children.
The point is, staying with your spouse for the sake of the children may be doing more harm than good.
Having a plan before, during, and after your divorce is essential to creating the best possible situation for your children.
Most importantly, you must be willing to set aside your differences with your spouse for the sake of the children.
Creating a plan with your spouse beforehand can make things for your children much easier.
In this article, we are offering tips for parents filing for divorce simply because they are no longer in love. Divorces involving matters such as domestic abuse will likely require a different approach when it comes to being honest with your child and keeping them safe.
Here are a few things to remember when your children are dealing with divorce:
#1: Create a plan for your children with your spouse
We understand this is a lot easier said than done.
If you are filing for divorce, chances are, there are differences that need to be settled before you are able to work together on creating a plan for your children.
In many cases, these things need to be settled with lawyers, and in many cases, we highly suggest consulting with a local divorce attorney when it comes to matters involving children and divorce.
However, that does not mean you and your spouse can not work together to at least come up with a plan on how you will tell your child or children.
Creating a hostile-free environment and stressing you both still plan on being there for them is a great way to begin the conversation.
#2: Be supportive of your children’s needs during the divorce
Kids need to know that you’re on their side.
Listen if your child is in emotional pain and make sure they know you are there for them.
Keep things moving by giving them time to talk, then allowing them time to process what they want to talk about.
Create a safe place your kids need to feel loved and accepted by the adults in their lives.
Get in touch with old friends and work on building new relationships.
You can start with a relationship with your child. It can be a good way to stay connected and help them cope with their feelings.
Assuring your children it is not their fault and that both you and your spouse still love them is vital.
#3 Be honest with your children about the divorce
Let’s be clear: it’s not easy to talk to anyone about going through a divorce, and we understand there are probably matters surrounding the divorce from which you want to shelter your children.
Being comfortable telling your children as many details as possible is vital to establishing trust.
If your child or children thinks you are withholding something, they may begin to question everything you say about the divorce.
This is especially important during the beginning phases of the divorce process.
As time goes on, and you are able to understand your child’s feelings better, you may be able to open up more and share more information about the divorce.
Obviously, there may be things you don’t think your children should hear.
As mentioned previously in this article, matters such as domestic abuse and infidelity require a different approach.
#4 Don’t try and force your children to take your side
This can be very difficult.
In any argument, we want to know there are people that are on our side, and when it comes to the love of your children, it is excruciatingly difficult not to try and compete for their admiration.
In most cases, you and your spouse should work to explain that you are both still their parents, and they need to continue to love you equally.
We understand there are situations where it is in the child’s best interest that a child is better (or safer) with one spouse, but if it is at all avoidable, try not to share the flaws of your spouse with your children.
This is especially important when you feel your spouse is a good parent.
Even if they are a bad partner, that does not mean you should try to sway your children to think less of them.
#5 Work to find the best child custody and visitation plan possible
Being away from your child is one of the hardest things a parent has to do.
However, giving your children the ability to spend time with both you and your spouse is almost always the best possible situation for them.
If your divorce involves a child custody battle, you may be putting a strain on your child’s happiness, but we fully understand, sometimes using a child custody attorney is the only option.
When possible, we urge our clients to try their best to create the best parenting and visitation plan possible with their spouse.
This is also the case when it comes to child support.
If a child hears you and your spouse are arguing over something like child support, the thoughts they have could be devastating.
Again, we are completely aware sometimes a child support lawyer is required during your family law case, and we are in no way saying you should avoid fighting for child custody or child support.
We simply want to stress the importance of what your child does and does not hear and how and when they hear it.
Conclusion to Going Through Divorce with Children
When it comes to helping your children through divorce, make sure to be on top of their health and well-being, and do whatever you can to ensure their success.
As divorce attorneys in Charlotte, our knowledge is limited to our experience with parents going through a divorce.
We are by no means experts when it comes to traumatic experiences and the psychological effects they may or may not have on children.
In many cases, we may suggest speaking with a therapist about and with your children.
If you have questions about divorce lawyers, child custody, or child support, contact our family law attorneys in Charlotte, NC for more information.