Divorce is incredibly challenging not only for just the spouses but all of the family involved. It’s a life-changing circumstance with a major ripple effect on the loved ones around them. Conversations are delicate and it’s important to be hyper-aware of how family members are processing the news. It’s arguably the toughest transition for the spouse’s children, and you want to assure them and support them as much as possible. A family lawyer works with spouses to figure out the best path forward for the children post-separation, and find that middle ground of how guardianship should be handled. You want to be practical in the decision-making and what’s best for the future of your children, and a qualified lawyer, like one of the lawyers at Kempen & Company, can work with you to find the best scenario. Below you can read through just a few of the most common tips parents should consider when communicating with their children during a divorce.
Being Honest With Them
While also being age-aware, you and your spouse should be honest with your children about why you are divorcing. They do have a right to know and this honesty will show as an example of respect to them. In the long run, holding back information from your kids can hurt your relationship with them, and while it may be very hard to do so, it’s best to be transparent. You don’t want to confuse them or get caught up in too complicated reasons because you’re trying to conceal information.
Acknowledge The Changes That Will Happen
Be upfront about what will change and will not change in your children’s lives. Once you and your spouse have come up with a plan for the children’s living situation, tell them as soon as you can. Additionally, be open with them about how their schedules, location, etc. may change as well. Assure them that your love has not changed for them whatsoever, and this has nothing to do with them. Listen to their questions that they have about what the future will look like and respond with as clear answers as you can. It’s okay to let them know that you may also need to address each detail as you go.
Be On The Same Page
Be on the same page as your spouse when communicating with your children. Do your best to remain a united front when dealing with the changes. Having open disagreements in front of your children about moving forward can easily cause a very stressful situation. Keep reminding yourself that your children are already processing so much information, so any added tension from an argument can have a larger impact than you would initially think.
Words Of Affirmation
Consistent, honest communication is an important baseline as we discussed, and you should make sure to give your kids comfort, love, and support is essential. As simple as it sounds, saying something as meaningful as “I love you” on a regular basis will remind them that they’re not alone, and that you are working hard to make them feel recognized in this tough environment.