How to Approach a Divorce When Children Are Involved
Divorces can be trying for the adults separating, but they also often have a more far-reaching effect on children caught in the fray. Read on to see how you should approach a divorce when there are children involved in order to minimize negative effects on them.
Think About Finances
As a parent, it’s only natural to want the best for your kids. Part of this is in providing for them, so it’s a good idea to make the best decision for the child as far as finances are concerned. If your partner earns more money and has a bigger space, for instance, it may make more sense to let them have custody. This may not be welcome news to many, and women, who file for about two-thirds of divorces, may especially want to get custody. To ensure that you don’t put your child in a position that will have them at a disadvantage, it’s good to put their needs before everybody else’s.
If the process of the divorce is lengthy and tumultuous, your child may get caught in the middle and witness some things they need not to. In this instance, reassure them that they don’t have a role to play in the way things have turned out. Let them know that you love them no matter what and assure them that you will always be by their side. While you may be angry with your soon-to-be-ex, don’t give in to the temptation of badmouthing them as this will put your child in a tough position in which they feel like you’re forcing them to choose sides. Keep things reasonable and don’t leave them any room to wonder whether their parents love them. Around 50% of all marriages in America end in separation or divorce. You may share such facts with them if necessary so they understand that this is not a unique situation to them and they had no role to play in it.
Look for Healthy Coping Mechanisms
While grieving the end of your marriage, it’s important to look for coping mechanisms that will work well. When you’re on solid ground, it will be easier for you to help your child cope as well. Understand their emotions and allow them the chance to also grieve in their own way, but make sure you’re there for them. Don’t give them a chance to drift far, but don’t stifle them either. Look for the balance and walk this path with them. In the end, they will know that you truly care for them and it may be easier for them to move on when you set a great example yourself.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
To promote faster emotional healing for both you and your child, keep the lines of communication open. Let them know that they can approach you with any worries or concerns that they have and you will help them through them. Also, communicate openly with their other parent for the sake of your child. Let things be straightforward and you will all have an easier time both during and after the process. Shutting each other off will only leave your child stranded in the middle, unsure of whose side to choose. This may make them resentful of both of you even if neither of you showed any hostility towards him or her. The fact that parents settle 90% of child custody cases without the ruling of a judge should inspire you to aim for the same.
These tips should help you approach a divorce in a way that’s unlikely to scar your child, so follow them and stay positive!