Children & Divorce: A Family Approach to Discussing Divorce

Your family is experiencing a transition. Divorce is difficult for everyone—parents, children, everyone is affected by the change. It’s new, and it can be scary. There are steps to be taken to make sure that the process is as smooth and painless as possible, and that the outcome can be good for all family members involved.

Family attorneys exist to make sure the divorce is handled with tact and care. Your child’s living arrangements, social life, day to day normalcy, education, and well being are incredibly important. When it comes to custody, everyone involved wants to make sure that the divorce is being handled for the best of the children. How do you maintain the feeling of family while the family is splitting apart? How do you make sure that the best interests of your children are being managed while dealing with the stresses of divorce?

Your Children Matter

Parental divorce nearly doubles the chances that children will grow up and see their own marriages end in divorce. It’s a difficult process, one that requires trust, intimacy, care, and thoughtfulness. Divorce is painfully personal, and when it comes to your family, they’re expecting the best of you. It can be profoundly difficult to be at your best under these circumstances, which is why family attorneys and counseling can work on your behalf.

Children soak up everything they see and hear. It’s important that their emotional and psychological well-being is met through every stage of your divorce. They are lightning rods for conflicting messages, conflict, and unintentional pain. Try and resolve conflicts in positive ways. Learn the art of compromise, and apologize when you do or say something wrong. Keep your children out of the middle of things, and praise them when they need it.

The Needs of your Children and Family Come First

As your children age, as people move, as education proceeds, it’s important to continue to listen to and work with your children on what’s best for them. If your ex-partner is difficult to work with on matters of parenting, listen to counsel and continue to strive towards working on agreements and resolutions whose outcomes benefit everyone, if possible. Avoid badmouthing your ex-partner in front of your children, even when frustrated. Children not only have terrific memories, but they internalize more than you might understand. Your children are intelligent and impressionable. Children innately feel like they are part of both of their parents. Criticizing or making sarcastic comments about your ex-partner can often lead to feelings of unworthiness or anxiety in your children. It can lead to low-self esteem and a sense that “something is wrong with me.”

If you can, take any issues with your ex-partner directly to them and avoid using your children as a mediation for your problems. Your children are their own individuals and must be nurtured and respected. They are not responsible for your divorce, or its outcomes. Be sensitive. It can be difficult, but do your best to monitor your own comments and leave your frustrations at the door when you are spending time with your children. Slip-ups can happen, but too many will lead to behavioral patterns that are difficult to change—and difficult for kids to recover from.

Take Care Of Your Family

When it comes to your family, it is your right to take care of those you love. Child support is a messy business, and it is important to let your attorneys find common ground so that you make work within the best interests of your family. Negotiating terms can be a difficult and arduous process, especially if you’re not on friendly ground with your ex-partner. Allow your attorney to do his negotiation for you so that you can focus on your family.

An important aspect of parenting is the plan of all those involved, the intentions and needs of doing what is best for your children. As children grow and your family changes, it becomes more and more important to make sure you change with them and do the best for your children. Parenting through a divorce is more than making sure your needs are met—it’s imperative to listen to your children’s wants and needs and to make sure they are being heard.

How To Make It Through Divorce

It can be a monumental effort imagining you and your family’s happiness again again after a divorce. Beyond seeking pleasure, seeking happiness, and pursuing joy are huge tasks. Your family needs you. This pressure can often add undue strain to your divorce but instead, look at the happiness of what you’re creating in your new family and focus on spending quality time with your children.

About the Author:

Jarrod Hays

Jarrod Hays is the founder of Skyview Law, a Family Law Firm in Richmond. He is licensed to practice law in Washington State and the Federal Court in the Western District of Washington. Jarrod earned his law degree from Lewis and Clark College in 2008. Jarrod is rated as one of the 10 Best Attorneys under 40 for Client Satisfaction in Washington for 2019