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Experts report that 50% of all children in the United States will witness the divorce of their parents.
The New York Times reports that even low tension and “quiet” divorces can greatly impact the lives of children. Needless to say, talking to children about divorce and preparing them for divorce is a very difficult step in the divorce process.
There are some essential elements that every parent should consider when children are involved in a divorce which include the following pieces of advice:
Be Honest With Your Children About the Process. Children who receive false promises during a divorce will be even more hurt down the road when they are not fulfilled. Rather, tell your children the truth about how matters will be resolved. If you do know the answer to a question your child asks, do not hesitate to reply that you are not sure of the answer.
Embrace Their Questions. Understand that children will have many questions about the divorce. While some of the questions might be easy to answer, others are likely to be difficult. Be mindful that their questions should be treated with patience and thoughtfulness. This attitude provides a sense of openness with your children that will encourage them to communicate with you during this difficult time.
Consider Arranging Time With a Counselor. Understand that divorce affects children differently. As a result, be prepared to arrange and visit a counselor with your child to help them understand what is occurring if needed.
Focus on the Positives When Speaking To Your Children. By all means, let your children know that two adults still love them. Any other encouraging, but honest, words that you could possibly tell your children should also be shared. Be sure to tell them what will remain the same through the divorce, as this type of management of expectations helps provide a sense of stability and serenity.
Let Your Children Know They Did Nothing Wrong. Many children will wonder if there is something that they did that caused their parents to divorce. Even if your children do not ask this question, let your children know that they did not contribute to the decision to divorce, and that the choice to end the marriage involves only two adults.
Prepare Your Children for Changes. Let your children know in advance that a result of divorce is significant change. For example, divorce could mean that holidays will be celebrated in rotations and that they may be living apart from your soon-to-be ex spouse. Prepare your children for these changes so they do not come as a surprise.
Present a Calm and Peaceful Demeanor to Your Children. Do not needlessly upset your children, who will have a hard enough time with the divorce process as is. Keeping this in mind, aim to not raise your voice or argue with your soon-to-be ex-spouse around your children. Also remember that your children will look towards you for strength and security during this difficult time so your children will best be served by tranquility.
Another essential piece of advice regarding handling divorce with children is to select a divorce lawyer who understands your circumstances; one who will work zealously to ensure that the best possible outcome is reached for you and your children. At the Law Office of Rebecca Medina you will receive the guidance of a trusted and compassionate lawyer with years of experience in Divorce and Family Law in Fresno, California. Contact us for an initial consultation.