Every year, thousands of couples across the country call it quits on their divorce, and that means thousands of children are subjected to the emotionally scarring and strenuous experience of watching their parents separate. These are times of confusion and pain because children likely don’t fully understand what’s happening or why. Therefore, as a parent, it’s important to do everything you can to help your children through this difficult time and make the life transition as easy as possible. Here are a few valuable tips you should consider.
Break the News Appropriately
Contrary to what you might think, it’s best not to keep your kids in the dark as to what’s going on. But you don’t want to overwhelm them with something they may not understand. It’s also best to inform your kids alongside your spouse and tell them together to show that you intend to work together and both of you are in agreement with the decision. While there’s no easy way to break this news, you’ll find that doing so together often has much better reception than doing so separately.
While you don’t want to sugar coat your divorce as though it’s not a big deal, you also don’t want to let it get in the way of how your kids live their life. If your child has swim lessons twice per week, make sure they can still attend. Don’t pull them out of their school or take them away from their friends unless absolutely necessary. You want to show them that life will go on after a divorce, and having it do so during the process makes the transition that much easier.
Don’t Fight in Front of Your Kids
Divorces are emotional affairs and it’s not uncommon for discussions or arguments to get heated. But whatever you do, do not fight in front of your kids. Your kids look to both of you for guidance when they are uncertain, and divorces are an extremely uncertain time. Arguing or shouting stresses children out and makes it extremely difficult to cope with the changes they are experiencing. While complex discussions and heated arguments are sometimes unavoidable, save them for when your children are not around.
Don’t “Poison the Well”
A divorce is not a contest to show your children you’re a better parent than your spouse. You wouldn’t play favorites with your children, so the idea of trying to make them play favorites with you and your spouse is absurd. Don’t attempt to one-up them with better, more elaborate gifts, don’t violate your spouse’s wishes for things like bedtime or study habits to try to be the “cool parent,” and don’t ever try to harbor feelings of resentment toward your spouse in your children. More often than not these actions backfire and breed resentment towards you, and you could also be found guilty of parental alienation.
If you need assistance with your divorce, the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP may be able to help. Our Newport Beach divorce attorneys are dedicated to helping you and your family obtain the best possible solution to your legal matter, and we place your well-being at the forefront of all our decisions throughout your case. We strive to achieve positive results through negotiation, mediation, and effective divorce litigation, guided by many years of experience and thousands of satisfied previous clients.Our attorneys are ready to help! Call Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP now at (949) 565-4158 to schedule a free consultation!