Five Things You Should Know About Divorce When there are Kids Involved
Divorce can negatively affect everyone’s lives, especially those of children, who can be confused, worried, or even psychologically damaged by the effects. Children tend to see their parents as a source of inspiration, love, affection, stability, and solidity. They are not as happy when one parent pulls the rug out of the relationship, especially if there is an affair involved. Children are perceptive, and it’s important to shield them from the devastating, long-term impact and trauma that divorce can create.
It will be hard on the kids mentally
Kids are traumatized easily, and that trauma doesn’t leave easily; it is not taken away simply with words or future actions. Trauma can lead to long-term anxiety, worry, stress, and inability to cope with one’s problems. Parents should watch the levels of their voice, what they say to each other, and how they communicate during a break-up or hard period. Focus on what your children know. Something as small as confiding feelings about one partner’s affair can devastate a child since this subject should not be shared with a child.
Keep records in writing
Be sure to get everything in writing; keep communication to email over phone. There is bound to be a lot of he-said/she-said, and having emails to point to is important and can help with clarity and straightforwardness in general.
Don’t try to do it all yourself
Be sure to get the courts involved. You are going to have to file a child-custody agreement and a marital separation agreement, so you might as well face this fact. You can do this on your own, or you can do this with a lawyer’s help. An attorney can give you more information about the legal process and steps you can take to make transitioning your children less stressful. Sometimes one spouse will retain the lawyer, and the other will simply sign the paperwork in the company of a notary. Papers are then easily filed at the local court for the county in which you are living.
Trying to be civil is a great idea. Some families start a family journal to deal with divorce, so everyone can write their ideas or notes and concepts to each other. It’s busy in life, and when there are two families, it is nice to send a book back and forth with notes or schedules to share with each other. Try not to gossip about your spouse or the divorce process in front of the children. Some couples find themselves venting to their older children. This is never a good idea and will just cause more anxiety for the child who has to bear it.
Be clear and honest
Children are impressionable, injured easily, and can actually break. Try to be very clear about why the divorce is happening and that it is not their fault. Stressing that it is not their fault is essential for them to feel safe, happy, and well-adjusted, not just during this period of separation and divorce, but later, as well. Be honest with them so as to not give them false hope. If you and your spouse have no plans of reconciliation, focus on helping your children adjust to their new life in two homes rather than allowing them to think it’s a temporary thing.
The divorce process can be extremely stressful and hard. Things only get harder when children are involved. Make sure you take some time away from the negotiations to focus on your children and make sure their needs are met.
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