The 4 Best Ways to Protect and Support Your Kids During Your Divorce

As parents, we count the well-being of our children as a top priority, which is one of the reasons why many of us stay in unhappy marriages for so long. As we lie awake at night, we wonder, “How will a divorce affect them?”

Even if divorce is the best solution for everyone, your children will initially be concerned, upset, and anxious when you and your spouse sit down to tell them. This is a normal reaction, and a large number of children both cope well and proceed to live happy, secure lives after separation, particularly when their parents work to make the transition as positive as possible.

Here are four ways that you can protect and support your kids during your divorce.

Let them know that the divorce is NOT their fault

The importance of this point cannot be overstated. Children frequently feel guilty when their parents separate, believing that they must have done something wrong. Make sure they understand that they are not to blame and that both parents love them very much. Stress that this is a situation between the adults, and they are in no way responsible.

Do not involve them in any drama

If you and your spouse have bitter feelings toward each other, don’t let your children see you argue, and above all, never speak badly about their other parent to them. Doing so will only create a sense of divided loyalty and harm their well-being. Instead, use your time with them to indulge in activities that they enjoy and maintain as much semblance of a “normal” schedule as possible. Always reinforce the fact that they are loved. “I love you” is one thing you can never say too much at this time.

Consider alternative ways to resolve disputes

Most family courts require parties to attempt When you opt for mediation, your divorce will be less adversarial and you and your spouse can learn to collaborate and compromise on issues, which will aid you as future co-parents. This option will not work if the two of you fail to agree on important points like child custody, support, and property division. If litigation is really unnecessary, however, alternative dispute resolution is THE way to go. The process will be faster, less expensive, and definitely less contentious, which will make it easier for the children to adjust to their new situation.

Seek professional support

Arranging for your children to see a therapist will give them an opportunity to vent their feelings to a compassionate but neutral third party and work through any guilt, fear, or resentment triggered by the divorce. If you see a therapist yourself, you will have your own resource for dealing with your emotions and make it less likely that you might unintentionally vent to the children.

At Fraser, Wilson & Bryan, P.C. we understand how difficult divorce is for the entire family and will focus on helping you develop a custody, visitation, and support arrangement that meets your children’s physical, emotional, and financial needs. To schedule a consultation and review of your divorce situation, contact us today.