Tips for Handling a Divorce with Kids

As difficult as divorce is for parents, it can be even harder on their children. Kids suddenly have to deal with new living situations and uncertainty about their future. Divorce will be a difficult time for children, but parents can take some steps to make the transition easier.

As your going through a divorce, remember that your children’s welfare is your top priority. Use the following tips to help your kids deal with the divorce process.

Protect Your Children

Divorced couples may not be on good terms with each other, but they should do everything they can to avoid arguing in front of their children. You and your ex are going to need to manage your emotions well enough to continue to be good parents.

Children are very perceptive and may pick up on things without their parents being aware of it. Protect your kids from adult conflicts by using the following additional tips:

  • Don’t talk bad about your ex in front of your children. Kids should not be put in a position where they have to take sides between their parents. If you need to express your feelings about your ex, talk to a friend privately or visit a counselor.
  • Don’t make your kid a go-between. Be careful about making your kids a messenger, particularly if you are doing so because you are too emotional to talk to your ex. Find a way to communicate directly with your ex without putting your kids in the middle.

Be Honest With Your Kids

You can’t pretend things are going to stay the same when they really aren’t. Divorce involves changes the lifestyle of both parents and children. You can prepare your kids for these changes by telling them the truth about what’s happening and how things are going to be different going forward.

Your children need to know that you and your ex will be living apart, but that both parents will still be involved in their lives. Depending on your child’s age, you’ll have to give them enough information so that they know what to expect during the process of divorce and separation.

Encourage them to ask questions and express how they’re feeling. One topic to avoid discussing: assigning fault or blame for the divorce on your ex. Your kids should know that they aren’t to blame for a divorce, but they don’t need to know about the details that caused your separation.

Get Legal Help

Divorces involving kids are more complex—and often more heated—than other divorces. The biggest cause of stress and hostility is the issue of child custody, as both parents may want to spend as much time with their children as possible.

Remember—you should try to negotiate a custody arrangement that’s best for your children. Don’t use a custody battle as a way to “get back” at your ex.

Working out an agreement with your ex regarding child custody and child support usually results in a better outcome than arguing your case in court. You also avoid increased legal costs and the stress involved in litigation.

Whether you’re in the middle of child custody negotiations or still considering separation, discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney. Get legal advice now, so you and your kids can be prepared to deal with the divorce process.

Schedule a Child Custody Consultation

Before you begin child custody negotiations, we recommend you speak with a family law attorney to protect the bond between you and your children.  To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys regarding custody, please call us at 888-748-KING (5464).   You may also request a consultation using the contact form on our website.