Divorce in the United States is on the decline, but a large percentage of adults who get married are destined to end their relationship with a separation or divorce. An estimated 40 to 50% of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce, making the country number one in the world when it comes to divorce filings. Often divorces involve children who must live with the uncomfortable and frightening aftermath. Since boys are likely to act out in frustration after a divorce and girls often suffer in silence and depression, it is important that all parents work to find ways to minimize a divorce’s effect on their children.
Discuss the Situation Openly
Honesty is the best policy, especially when the children are toddlers or older. Children have a habit of blaming themselves for the divorce, and if this blame is not addressed it can lead to dangerous behavior. Talking to your children about the situation openly is one way to help them avoid some of the more dangerous reactions to a divorce. Do not let your children spend time guessing about the situation and holding themselves responsible for the relationship’s deterioration. Talk to your children about the reasons for divorce so that they can better understand your reasoning and avoid internalizing the situation.
Avoid Disrupting Routines
Continuity is one of the most important aspects of preparing for post-divorce life. It is important that your children understand that life will go on and that their lives are not going to be completely changed. Make sure your children attend their regular sporting events, special events, and spend time with friends as usual. If one spouse has moved out, encourage him or her to spend time talking to the children or doing things with them. Establishing and maintaining a good routine will remind the children that their lives have not changed beyond recognition.
A parent who has moved out of the family home should spend as much time possible with the children, especially if they are toddlers going through developmental milestones. Seeing that parent on a regular basis will remind them that even though their parent does not live with them full-time, he or she is still able to check in each day to continue building their relationship.
Do Not Involve the Children in Disputes
Children should never be placed in the middle of any argument between adults in the house. When parents begin fighting, children often feel as though they must pick a side. If the argument in question is occurring in response to one of the child’s actions, he or she will become more convinced that the divorce is his or her fault. Also, seeing parents constantly fighting about divorcing makes the children more apprehensive about the future and what it may hold.
Contact an Experienced Law Firm
Divorces involving children are never easy to manage, but with the assistance of an experienced law firm the complex process becomes more manageable. The family law attorneys at Vayman & Tietelbaum are able to help you prepare for a contested divorce. We take pride in helping our clients with achieving satisfactory agreements that ultimately protect their children. Call our offices at 678-736-7700 to discuss your needs and schedule an appointment.