Divorce can be tough on even the most civil adults, but the process can be especially difficult for children. In a split second, their lives are turned upside down, and everything changes. As parents, it’s important to take steps to make the divorce as painless as possible. While there’s no way to avoid the confusion or sadness your children might be feeling, you can make the transition easier by offering a supportive environment. Here are some tips:
1. Be Selective About What You Tell Your Children
It’s important to be honest with your children about the reason for your divorce, but it’s also important to carefully choose what information or details you divulge. Be age-aware when talking to your kids about the divorce, as certain types of information can hurt and affect your children for the rest of their lives.
Provide your children with a simple, age-appropriate explanation that they can understand. Even if your children are adults, there’s no need to provide a long-winded response that divulges every little detail.
2. Never Talk Negatively About Your Spouse
Your children have a right to know the real reason behind your divorce, so honesty is incredibly important. At the same time, it’s also important to avoid blaming your spouse for the breakup. Divorce has a tendency to bring out the worst in people, and that often leads to spouses bad-mouthing each other.
Keep in mind that your children will never forget any negative comments you make about your spouse. Regardless of what happens between you and your ex, he or she is still the parent of your children. Your spouse’s relationship with your children is not the same as your relationship.
3. Spend Time Together and Make Your Children Feel Loved
Never forget to tell your children “I love you” during a divorce. It’s important that your children know that you and your ex love them no matter what happens. These three simple words let your children know that despite the divorce, you and your spouse still love them.
4. Work Together with Your Ex
During and after the divorce, take steps to work together as parents and be civil to one another. This will have a positive impact on your children if they can see their parents working together despite the divorce.
In addition, it’s important to make major decisions together with your ex when raising your children. Discuss any financial matters with your ex that are related to your children, including educational needs and visitation.
5. Never Let Your Children Feel That They are the Cause of the Divorce
It’s not uncommon for children to blame themselves for the divorce – especially if the children see you arguing about them. As parents, it’s your job to remind and reassure your children that they are not the cause of the divorce.
Divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. Choose your words and your actions wisely, so you do not make a lasting, negative impression on your children. Be civil, work with your ex and let your kids know that you love them no matter what.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in family law and estates. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.