Unfortunately, some marriages don’t work out for various reasons. When separation seems feasible and the best option for all parties, it can have a devastating effect on children, if the parents are not careful. Divorce affects children of all ages and backgrounds. There are ways to ease the pain of separation on children. A child-focused divorce allows for both parties to focus on the children and offer additional support. Child-focused divorce includes planning for their future while allowing both parties to co-parent and leave their marriage peacefully. There are common steps you can take to put your child first in a child-first divorce. Listed below are these steps and how to ease the effects of divorce on children.
Inform the children of the divorce jointly:
One of the most challenging steps in a child-focused divorce is informing your kids about the divorce. When both parties are ready, frame the divorce as an event. Make sure you both know how you will discuss this event. Plan it in advance. Often, children will remember the event more than the actual divorce. That’s why preparation is critical. The talk will shape your child moving forward.
Don’t overshare specifics of your divorce:
An easily avoidable mistake is oversharing details of your divorce. The more your kids know about the reasons for it or the financial details, the more they will overthink the situation and put unnecessary stress on them. When they begin to ask specifics, explain to them this is an issue between you and your spouse. Comfort them in their time of need and answer their questions about issues that directly affect them, like the parenting schedule. Remind them they will be always be loved by both parents no matter the circumstances, and that they are not to blame for the divorce.
Mediation and the collaborative divorce process are the best options for protecting your children during and after divorce. Both collaborative law and mediation bring together the parents and lawyers to focus first and foremost on the best interest of the children. Collaborative law and mediation not only support the children but the parents as well, since they are non-adversarial, and based on cooperation and listening, rather than fighting. No other method for divorce allows for all parties to focus so heavily on the children’s well being to come to a sound solution.