Getting a divorce is never easy, but for some couples, this may be the best option they have. Separating from a spouse is already difficult enough on its own as it is, and when children are factored into the equation, things can often go south quickly. However, there are ways to prepare your children for the separation so things can run as smoothly as possible, not only during the separation but afterward as well. For each child’s sake, it’s imperative to keep the peace between you and your spouse, talk to your children honestly, and make a plan for the aftermath.
First in foremost, keeping the peace with your current spouse is extremely important. No matter what might be the reason for the divorce when children are involved you must remember your spouse is still the other parent. Arguments and fights will only stress the children out, which could result in them blaming themselves for the split. During the divorce process, it is important to ensure that things between you and your spouse remain calm. There are some steps you can take that can beneficial to both you and your child during this hectic time.
These steps include respecting your spouse, being open and honest about the situation, and not arguing in front of the child. Although initially, it may not seem like it, the way you act towards your spouse in front of your children will and does have a direct correlation with the child’s relationship to that specific parent and you as well. It is never wise to put the children in a situation where they feel that they must choose sides between their two parents. Another reason you should be honest with your children is that they will most likely have questions and they will probably be confused. Keeping an open mind and listening to how your children feel and what they have to say can make all the difference. And don’t forget to take into account that children seeing arguments will impact how they feel about the situation in a negative way.
Moreover, not arguing in front of any children should be a priority. You should talk to your children honestly about the divorce but fighting with your spouse will only do more damage than good. You and your spouse are still the adults in the situation so you must act as such. Before talking to your kids about anything talk to your spouse first. Make sure the two of you are on the same page so when you talk with your children about the situation, they won’t feel the need to pick a side since you and your spouse are already in agreement. By no means does this mean you and your spouse have to agree on everything, but when it comes to discussing matters with your children you must do your best to work together.
Another factor to take into consideration is the age of your child or children. If they are younger (4-9 years old), then the explanation process will be different than if you had a 10-13-year-old, or a 14-17-year-old. When explaining the divorce to younger children try and keep things in simple terms. The reason why the divorce is taking place may not be a pivotal talking point during the conversation if the children are younger. On the other hand, if the children are already in their teens then the reason why may be more of a talking point. However, no matter the age of the children, you should make sure to tell them it is in no way their fault and that you will still be there to love and support them no matter the circumstance.
Furthermore, working with your spouse even when the divorce is over is an absolute must. It won’t be easy but when children are involved you cannot simply take your children and leave. Even in the most extreme situations (unless physical harm to you or the children is a possibility). An effort must be made to keep the children in contact with both parents. Kids need to have a relationship with both of their parents, and if one of those relationships suddenly gets severed because of a parental argument during the split the damage done to the children will always be apparent. Things such as trust or abandonment issues can occur, so taking things slow and steady without making rash decisions has to be done. Making a plan with your spouse about meet up times, living situations, and shared visitation are all essential when deciding how things will go on after the divorce. Not only for you and your spouse but again for your children as well. Meeting with a divorce attorney from a law firm like Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC could help you and your spouse put these types of arrangements and schedules into place to ensure your child or children have a sense of stability.
Despite any reasons for getting a divorce your children’s happiness and well-being should be your top priority. If done properly children can make it through a parental divorce without being hurt. But this is all up to the parents and the decisions they make. Whether they decide to fight or to work together for the betterment of their children. This is why parents must keep the peace, talk honestly with their children, and make a plan when deciding to split.