Are you about to go through a difficult divorce process with children? Divorce is a difficult process as it is, but when you add children into it, it can become much more complicated. Because of the complication that accompanies divorce with children, you need to tread lightly in your discussions and actions around your children when you are struggling with your divorce. As a family law attorney in Orlando, we have seen many people go through divorce smoothly when they have kids, but we have also seen some families torn apart by divorce. To avoid becoming the latter, you will want to make your kids a priority during your divorce. These are a few tips to consider when talking to your children about your divorce.
When you are going through a divorce, your children are going through something that will also drastically change the course of their lives. They are accustomed to living with both of their parents under one roof, and this will most likely change when you separate. Once you and your spouse have decided to call it quits, you will both want to take the time to sit down and address these changes with your children. Showing them that you are still united in your parenting responsibilities will be the first step to ensuring the children are still your priority. Be there to answer any questions or quell any concerns they may have about the next chapter of your life. By doing this together, you are able to provide them with clarity on everything as a pair, which will remove any conflicting statements from the situation.
Going through a divorce process can be tricky, messy, or even confusing. When you are confused, you should try to put yourself in your kids shoes and image how confused they would be. To make sure that they understand what is going on, keep all your messages to the kids as simple as possible. Avoid talking about all the legal stuff, like custody discussions and parenting agreement documentation. Instead, focus only on the details that they need to know, like where they will be spending their weekends and what school they will go to. Keeping it simple will remove any confusion or fear from your kids’ minds and allow them to just stay kids a little bit longer.
Their safety and security should remain your number one concern throughout the entire divorce process. Our family law practice in Orlando has seen many families struggle to put their kids first because of the emotional toll that divorce can take on everyone. This can lead your kids to think less of themselves in the long run, which can have damaging psychological effects as they grow up. Avoid this and let your kids know the information they need to make them feel comfortable and safe. Be mindful of their schedules and show up when they need you. If it is your day to pick them up at school, take them to soccer practice, or help them with their homework, make sure that you show up for them.
Many children of divorce will blame themselves for the dissolution of their parents’ marriage. This could not be more damaging to their future. When your children think they are to blame for your divorce, you need to step in immediately and deter them from this thought process. Have conversations to remind them that they did not cause this to happen and discuss the simple reasons why you are no longer married. Keep the details or emotions out of it but give them an answer so they can finally be at peace that the divorce is not their fault. Carrying guilt can be a heavy burden for a child.
When you go through a divorce, it can become bitter and resentful. This is especially true when you are having a difficult time making an agreement in legal matters. Although you will feel emotionally charged during these negotiations, you need to keep a level head at home. Never talk poorly about your ex in front of your kids, as they need to keep their relationship with their parent throughout this whole process. Once they start hearing you talk badly about their parent, they may start to form judgments of their own. This is not a good way to approach divorce with children.
When your children see you moving on after divorce, they may start to think that they will be left behind too. Do not let them think this by making sure that you spend quality time with them during difficult times. Set aside time for positive experiences and make quality memories as a new unit. Showing them that you can be happy and have family experiences with the new unit you have become will allow them to see that they have a place in your next chapter. Make your kids a priority so that they do not worry that they will be left out of your new life.
Starting a new chapter can be scary and confusing for children. When they are used to a specific routine in their life, they may feel uprooted from that consistency they once thrived on. To move forward in your life without leaving your children behind, it may be beneficial to come up with new activities that you can enjoy as a new unit. Visit places you have always wanted to go, start a new hobby, or spend quality time enjoying the outdoors. Do things that you enjoy with your kids, and they may just realize how much happier you are in this new chapter of your life.
These are a few tips to keep in mind when you are talking to your children about your divorce. If you are looking for a reputable and experienced family law practice in Orlando to help you through the legal difficulties of divorce with children, you will want to trust the best. We handle everything from divorce to child custody to parenting agreements. Contact us to schedule your consultation with our expert divorce attorneys today.