How to Prepare for Divorce Part 3: Children
Children are notoriously resilient, but that doesn’t mean change is always easy for them. If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, take some time to learn what you can do to prepare your children for the news. Coping with a divorce can be difficult for everyone involved, but children often feel the sting of the separation the most because their entire home life restructures as a result.
As jarring and intimidating as this prospect may seem, take comfort in knowing that there are several things you can do to prepare your children for your upcoming divorce. By sticking closely to your children and taking extra measures to prepare them for the upcoming changes, you can make sure they receive the attention and care they deserve.
To prepare for a divorce with children involved, try the following:
Establish the groundwork for a good relationship
They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same holds true for healthy parent-child relationships. Opening the lines of communication with your children won’t happen overnight, so make sure you lay the groundwork early. Invite them to tell you about their day, give them your attention, and make them feel comfortable talking to you about everything, big or small. Putting in extra effort at this time can help ensure your children feel comfortable coming to you with any worries or problems once the divorce is out in the open.
Understand your custody situation
A large part of your divorce will be defining the terms of custody and child support. Speak with a divorce attorney to get a clearer picture of how your child custody and child support issues may play out. This will help you understand whether you have a good chance of working things out amicably or if you may need to prepare for a contested custody matter.
Spend time with your kids
The divorce process can be time-consuming and stressful, but don’t forget to take some time away to unwind and spend time as a family—for your kids and yourself. Make plans to go to on outings, eat dinner together, and play. Spending time together during the divorce process can help remind your children that not everything has changed—you still have each other.
Not all children are good communicators. Some kids may need extra prompting to open up about how they’re truly feeling, and even then they may be hesitant to tell you if they have a problem, or if they’re angry or sad. Children, especially those of younger ages, are still learning how to express themselves, so encourage them to talk to you and their other parent, and make sure they know that what they say is important to you.
You also need to learn good communication practices to be able to talk to your children about the divorce in a healthy and reassuring manner. For instance, don’t fight with your spouse in front of your kids. Don’t speak negatively about your spouse to or in front of your kids. Don’t blame the divorce on the other parent. Limit your children’s exposure to adult worries as much as possible.
Learn more about communicating with children during divorce here:
Learn about co-parenting relationships
After divorce, you will likely continue to have a relationship with your ex as co-parents. There are many ways to make co-parenting successful.
If you are getting ready to file for divorce, make sure you have an experienced, trustworthy attorney by your side. Our team at McKinley Irvin understands how challenging the divorce process can be, especially for parents, and we want to help you find the best possible legal solutions for your family.
Contact McKinley Irvin today to discuss your divorce case with our attorneys.