How to approach a divorce with children

| Jun 25, 2019 | Child Custody |

No one anticipates a divorce, especially when they start to expand their family. You expect a long future where you and your spouse raise your children and see them off to college and through their wedding day.

Unfortunately, divorce happens in many families, especially in Georgia. It not only affects the spouses, but it puts children through a challenging transition. Luckily, there are some ways to approach the discussion of divorce with your children without further damage.

Don’t over complicate it

While divorce is a complex topic for most couples, it doesn’t mean you need to convey that to your children. Your best strategy is to keep the language and conversation a simple as possible. Whether your child is a toddler or a teenager, a simple discussion helps them digest the information better. It also makes it less confusing if you leave out all the minor details surrounding the separation.

Allow time for questions and feelings

Most children want to understand the circumstances of the divorce, and they will have a million and one questions racing through their minds. Consider taking some time to answer some questions and address their feelings about the situation. Also, reassure that their opinions are valid and deserved to hear. It makes them feel supportive through times of significant change.

Explain the changes and reaffirm support

During the conversation, you should discuss the differences in schedules and living arrangements. It’s a crucial aspect that you cannot ignore with your child. However, you need to reassure your child that a divorce doesn’t change everything. Tell them both parents plan to support and love them through the process.

Check back in

Most children will need time to digest the conversation and new information. It may take hours, days or weeks to comprehend all the details in the discussion truly. As the parent, check in with them to make sure they don’t have any new questions or thoughts. You can also use this time to help your child adjust to the new family dynamic. It will be a crucial step in adjusting to life after the separation.

As you go through your divorce, it’s critical to make sure that your children are safe and comforted during the proceedings. However, you also need to take time for yourself. Consider taking time each week to process and express your emotions in a safe environment. It will help the entire family in the long run.

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Avvo Clients’ Choice Aeard 2012 | Douglas John Hassinger