Divorce and Children - Let’s face it

Let’s face it. Divorce is hard on kids. As a parent, dealing with your children—breaking the news, trying to help them through the many transitions, figuring out custody and support arrangements, and worrying about their wellbeing— is the most challenging part of the divorce. Seek the assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer. The lawyer can prove to be an invaluable source of advice.
There are two ways of figuring out how you’re going to take care of your children during and after your divorce: both spouses sit together and work out a solution or let the court make a decision based on the judge’s interpretation of what’s best for the children. No matter what the spouses disagree about, it is best for the children of the spouses can minimize the conflict the children witness and protect them from contact with the courts and from lots of uncertainty about the future. Custody lawsuits are notoriously unpredictable. So it is in your interest to reach an agreement with your spouse. It does not matter what type of person your spouse is or how much you hate your spouse. You must keep in mind that your spouse is also your child’s other parent and has equal claims to your child. The truth is that if you try to harm your spouse by preventing your spouse from having access to your children, you will be harming your children. Sit down with your spouse and work out a parenting plan that will work for everyone. It will prove beneficial to all in the long run. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you and your spouse negotiate a workable parenting plan.
Parents may tell children that mother and father are getting a divorce and will not be living together any more. Children can be told when the departing parent will move out and when they will be able to see him or her. Children should also be assured of their continuing contact with both parents (and receive it). Of course, it is not always possible to be so thoughtful during the crisis of the breakup. However, it is important that parents exercise as much self-restraint and plan as carefully as possible under these trying circumstances. How the breakup is handled initially, both with the children and with the marital partner, will have a significant bearing on how children adjust and on the couple’s ability to cooperate in the years following the divorce. In addition to letting the child know what to expect, parents need to provide an explanation for why the divorce is occurring.

Even if young children are prepared for the marital separation and understand why it is happening, separation anxieties may still be aroused, and children can feel insecure about their continuing relationships with their parents. Parents can alleviate children’s separation anxieties by repeatedly reassuring them that mother and father will always want to be with them and will never go away. Children should be prepared for the parental separation at least several days in advance. It is simply too threatening for children to wake up and find a parent gone or to see a parent move out after a heated argument. In addition, the noncustodial parent and child should have regularly scheduled daytime and overnight visits; telephone contact should begin immediately following the departure. Children’s primary fear is of losing access to the parent, which can be assuaged by knowing when and where they next will see the out-of-home parent.