One of the hardest things that can happen to a child is their parents getting divorced. Even though parents may repeatedly reinforce to their children that it is not their fault, some children may still struggle with feeling they are to blame for the divorce. While there may not be anything that you can do to stay together with your spouse, there are some things you can do to make the divorce process easier for your children.
Before you file for divorce, have a plan.
One of the best things you can do for your children is make the divorce relatively painless. There's enough emotional baggage involved in divorce already that any additional issues can grow from small to large very quickly. Even if you and your spouse need to have lawyers present, work through mediation and negotiation to come up with a fair and equitable plan for splitting custody and assets before you talk with your children. By working through these issues beforehand, you'll be able to head off issues that your children will have when you discuss with them why you're divorcing.
Agree on child support payments initially and freeze discussion after it's decided.
When people feel they're being dealt with unfairly, they often reach out and try to grab on to anything to make life more miserable for others. While negotiations over alimony and possessions are perfectly acceptable, try to avoid using child support as a negotiating point. Intense negotiations over child support can spill over to the children and they may feel that their other parent doesn't love them as much because they're not paying their fair share. Insulate your children by keeping child support payments fair, open, and transparent.
Have a united front.
Children frequently play parents off one another. This pattern only gets worse after a divorce because their parents are now living two separate lives. This is a natural result of children trying to discover what their limits and boundaries are. Work as closely as you can with your former spouse to help mold your children into the people that you both want them to be. Keep similar levels of discipline and spending as your ex to help your children have a consistent parenting experience. You should also stick with whatever living agreement you arranged at the time of your divorce and reinforce how you both feel that it is in your children's best interest to have that arrangement.
By following these steps you won't be able to heal the rifts that caused your divorce in the first place, but you may be able to help your children work through it. You might want to also speak with a child custody lawyer like Nelson Law Group PC for help.Share