Going through a divorce may seem personal, and it is. But it is also important to remember that it is something that affects the entire family, especially your children. When you are going through a divorce with children, it can be much more complicated. As a divorce attorney in Orlando, we help our clients with a range of issues that need to be handled when you go through a divorce with children, such as child custody, parenting agreements, alimony, and more. However, when you first start the divorce process, you will want to be honest and open with your children so that they can feel reassured and aware of what is going on in their lives. There are a few things to keep in mind when you are talking to your children about your divorce.
Talk to your kids before you actually separate to avoid any drama or confusion. When you have agreed that it is time to separate and physically live in different spaces, it is obvious that the kids will notice. Preparing them for this by having family discussions in a calm and peaceful manner will help them come to terms with their new reality. When they notice that one of you is no longer living at home, they will have lots of questions. It is best to address this situation together before it becomes an issue in your home. Preparing them is the first step to showing your children that you will prioritize their needs throughout the divorce. This reassures them that they are not going to be forgotten.
When your marriage has ended because of negative circumstances, a lack of trust, or even infidelity, it can sound easy to talk poorly about your spouse when they aren't around. You are mad, after all. However, it is best to keep the negativity out of the conversations in front of your children. They have nothing to do with the end of your marriage, and it isn't fair to drag them through your drama. If you are feeling sad or angry about your divorce, keep this information away from your children. Instead, focus on staying neutral or positive when you are talking with your kids. In fact, a divorce attorney in Orlando will advise you to avoid the drama as much as possible so that your emotions do not take over and cause a negative result on your divorce settlement.
Even though you discuss your divorce with your children, they might still require frequent reassurance. Life will be different for them on a daily basis, and they might continue to ask questions and address these changes. Be there for them and reassure them that you are their top priority. Even though you will be living in different homes or starting to move on in separate areas, you will always put your kids first. They need to hear this, and it is likely that they will need to hear it more than once.
As the divorce process continues and things move on, you want to keep your children in the loop. Ask for their opinions when you are making large decisions about where to live, where to go to school, and other aspects that will affect their life. Although you will want to make the best decision for your entire family, it is important to still be considerate of the needs and emotions of your children. Doing what's best for them may not look the same to them. Urge them to participate in big decisions and voice their opinions, even if you just hear them out. By valuing their opinions and listening to their concerns, you can make an educated decision on what is best for everyone.
Having a plan is important for your children. Don't assume that they understand what is going on when you change things around at the last second. Instead, keep them on a schedule and plan that works for the whole family. Decide what days they will be with mom and what days they will be with dad, and then stick to it. The last thing you want to happen is for you to pick your kids up at school and realize that they weren't expecting it to be you. Having a plan keeps everyone informed and aware of the new expectations.
Consistency is one of the best things that you can provide your children during your divorce. Even though it will take effort to provide them with a stable and consistent home life, you will want to put in the work. Your kids will be better off when they are aware of what's going on and when they know what to expect. Consistency provides children with the reassurance that, even though things are different, they are still being taken care of and they are still loved just as much.
Even though you may feel as though this divorce is happening only to you and your spouse, you want to remember that it is also happening to your children. Give them the space and time to express their emotions about the process so that you can all stay on the same page. This will allow you to fully understand their concerns, worries, and emotions. When you don't provide them with a space to communicate and reflect on how they feel, they may become withdrawn, and this can have negative impacts on their emotional and mental health.
These are just a few steps you will want to take when it comes time for you to talk to your kids about your divorce. Divorce may be difficult for you, but you also need to remember that it is scary, confusing, and difficult for your children too. As a divorce attorney in Orlando, we can help you work through your divorce so that you avoid drama and settle as quickly as possible for the children. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.