Helping Your Child Through Divorce

A divorce is never easy on a married couple, but for families the pain and struggle of a divorce and child custody can be especially difficult.  Depending on the age of your children, the process of divorce may be a confusing experience that leaves them with questions and feelings that could potentially have an impact on familial relationships if they are left ignored.

Taking the time to put spousal arguments aside during a divorce is crucial, because then you can take a look at the big picture of what is going on in your household.  You may be divorcing your husband or wife, but your children will always be a part of your lives.  There are many ways to help your children understand your divorce without making it feel like they are the problem or are out of the loop.

Talk Out the Divorce & Child Custody

If you are facing a divorce, you will have to tell the kids at some point during the process.  Take some time out of your schedule to sit down with your spouse and talk about ways that you can approach your children with the issue.  Come up with a plan and narrative that both you and your spouse can agree on and follow.  This won’t stop the announcement from hurting, but it will help show your children that despite the situation, both parties can work this out amicably.

In this conversation, let your children know what is coming with your divorce.  Prepare them for the possible outcomes, but above all, reassure them that despite this divorce being your problem, they will always be taken care of.

Let Them Ask Questions

Give your family time to process the situation, and schedule another family meeting where questions can be asked.  Be open and honest with your answers.  Transparency in this conversation is crucial to helping your family understand the reasons behind the divorce and what possible steps to expect in the future.  Help them understand that this can be a peaceful transition and that their questions are welcome during this life-altering experience.

Schedule these meetings for questions on a weekly or monthly basis so that as more questions and feelings develop, they can be handled accordingly.

Allow Room for Disappointment

You children are going to be sad throughout the steps of divorce.  Don’t shake their feelings off.  Although phrases like, “It’s better this way,” and “Don’t be sad, everything will be fine” are meant to be comforting, they send the message that your child’s unhappiness is an afterthought that you just can’t deal with at the time.  Offer your support in their feelings.  Your children are entitled to feel angry in this process.  Let your children know that it is okay to feel upset and that you understand.

Meet with an Expert

Going through this experience, especially with children, it can be very helpful to bring a family therapist who has experience with divorce into the picture.  A family therapist can help with advice that you may need when child custody or other particular issues arise.  Children also have advantages with a therapist because they provide a setting where children can express their thoughts they are too scared to bring to you.

Hire a Professional

If you are going through a divorce let Marx, Altman & Johnson provide you and your family with legal counsel.  Our team of attorneys has years of experience with family law and child custody, and are here to represent our Dallas and Fort Worth clients.  Contact us today for more information on our services.

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