Choosing to separate from your partner is no easy decision, and the matter is only complicated when you must also take into consideration the welfare of your children. Divorce can be very stressful for the entire family and children of different ages will react to it in different ways, nevertheless, a family divorce raises a lot of questions that your children will need answers to. Here are 5 things to consider if you’re going through a divorce with children.
- Who will your children live with?
One of the biggest questions your children may have about your separation is who they will live with and custody battles can be very emotional for all parties. No matter what is going on between you and your partner, it’s important to provide a united front to your children to show that they will still have both of you in their lives. If you are concerned about custody then be sure to hire a reputable divorce attorney such as Arnold Wadsworth & Coggins to help keep tensions professional and conducted out of the home environment.
- Will you or your children need to move?
Routine is important for children of all ages and the possibility of moving out of the family home, moving school and leaving their friends will compound the effects of the divorce and add a lot more uncertainty to what is already a very difficult time for them. Wherever possible try to maintain a routine within your family, and keep your children in contact with their friends as they will be a big part of their support network through this transition.
- What kind of language do you use around your children, especially with regard to your ex partner?
Tensions will often be high between you and your partner during your divorce proceedings but it’s very important to try not to fight or slander each other in front of your children. Keep arguments private and maintain neutral language about each other in your children’s presence so as not to make them feel uncomfortable or greater animosity toward you.
- Are you able to collaborate with your ex?
The ability to communicate, collaborate and continue co-parenting to some extent with your ex will help provide stability for your children, but this may not always be possible. If you can, try to set aside your own emotions and work with your ex partner to do what is best for your children.
- Can you provide the emotional support your children need at this time?
Whether they display it or not, your children will be going through a lot of emotions when you divorce and you will need to he prepared to offer the support they need. As a parent, listen to their concerns, try to maintain an open dialect with them about what’s going on and be sympathetic to their feelings. If you feel the divorce is particularly hard for your children then it may also be worth providing them with the opportunity to visit a counsellor or therapist so that they can talk through their feelings with an impartial third party.
Have you been through a divorce with children? What else would you add to this list?