Divorces are stressful and emotionally draining for everyone, but it can be especially traumatic for children. Parents must do everything in their power to ensure their needs are prioritized and met. Remember, successful co-parenting can protect them from the pain of your separation, and it begins with how you handle the divorce.
6 Tips for Parents Beginning the Divorce Process
- Establish a business relationship with your child's other parent. In business relationships, there are no emotional attachments or expectations of approval and emotional support. You do not need to like the people you do business with, but you need to put negative feelings aside to reach a solution.
- Understand that your children may feel confused, guilty, sad, or abandoned in response to the divorce. Acknowledge their feelings as normal and remind them that both parents will always love and support them even though the family is undergoing a major change.
- Keep your children informed about the important details of their lives and your divorce in a way that they can understand. You don't want to reveal anything too mature to understand, but make sure everything you communicate is simple and age-appropriate.
- Try to tell your children about the pending separation together before one parent just leaves. Plan a transition time if you can to help them adjust better.
- Divorce, alone, will not destroy your children. It is how you handle the divorce that has the power to hurt them. Do not engage in conflict in front of the kids, often the most damaging part of a divorce in a child's eyes.
- Seek the guidance of an understanding family lawyer with your child's best interests at heart. Many attorneys are only concerned with lining their own pockets and might advocate for litigation. Going to trial can put your kids in a more vulnerable position. Instead, find an experienced and compassionate child custody attorney.
The Knoxville attorneys at Peterson White, LLP are here to help you navigate complex family law challenges. Call us at (855) 919-4124 to schedule a complimentary consultation.