Going through a divorce in any scenario can be extremely stressful. You were with the person you thought you would spend the rest of your life with and suddenly you are splitting up your dinner sets and deciding who will get to keep the house. However, divorce can be significantly more complicated when you share children and need to determine who gets custody. Something else that can make this harder is knowing the right way to talk about your divorce with your children. The way you decide to talk with them will depend on how certain things will get divided up and how old your children are. When you begin working with a lawyer for your divorce, they may be helpful in bringing up different ways to talk about the separation and divorce with your children.
Top Tips For Parenting Your Children Through Divorce
It can be difficult to know how to tell anyone you are getting a divorce, let alone the children you share with your spouse. However, a lawyer, like a family lawyer in Tampa, FL from a law firm like The McKinney Law Group knows that there are a few ways that will help your children come to terms with what is happening.
- Practice makes perfect. When you are talking with your kids, you want to know what you are going to say ahead of time. You do not want to blurt out what is happening in anger (at your spouse) and you do not want to give them too much information. If your divorce is amicable enough, you may want to discuss this with your spouse and sit down with your kids together. Make notes on what you want to say and come up with answers to questions they may ask.
- Prepare for an array of reactions. Your kids may give you many different reactions to this news, ranging from indifference to anger. Your younger kids may not fully understand what is going on while older children may immediately take sides or need time to process. Whatever the situation is, make sure they have a safe space to come to terms with their emotions as they learn what their new lives may look like.
- Consider waiting to talk until the divorce is finalized. Bringing your children into adult arguments is unwise. Many relationships go through good and bad times and threatening your spouse with divorce (or vice versa) in front of your kids can only do more harm than good. It is best to wait until you and your spouse have agreed that this is the best next step for your family and you are moving forward with the legal process.
- Make sure they know they are not responsible. Many kids grow up thinking that they are the ones who are responsible for their parents’ divorce. It is a good decision to remind them that this is not the truth, that you love them, and that this will be the best thing for your family.
If you are preparing to go through a divorce and you have children, reach out to a law firm you can trust to help you with the legal process and help you understand how to proceed with your kids.