Marriage and divorce exist as two sides of the same coin. While we all enter marriage hopeful that things will last forever, for many that will not be the case with 40%-50% of marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce. Irrespective of the fact that divorce is a somewhat common phenomenon, it doesn’t make the process any easier to deal with.
The decision to divorce is one that is not taken lightly. Undeniably, this process can be emotionally taxing on all involved. But if there are children involved, this experience can become extremely daunting.
In some situations, children may have an easier time accepting divorce as a solution when the other alternative is a tense household or potentially harmful environment. But, in terms of family and relationships, nothing is ever cut and dry. If your children were raised in a traditional nuclear family dynamic, the idea of divorce can disrupt everything they have ever known. The dissolution of a marriage is also a dissolution of a family, meaning that it’s likely that your kids will begin to feel that their lives have been turned upside down. Therefore, during this trying time, it’s important to strive towards an amicable divorce. While this may not entirely heal your children’s emotional wounds, presenting a loving, friendly and non-confrontational front will help ease your kids through the process.
While most people would opt for an amicable divorce if given the choice, unfortunately this is not always the reality. Depending on the situation, a friendly uncoupling might be completely off the table but not all hope is lost. Read these tips to help you and your children navigate through this process.
1) Leave Your Kids Out of It (If You Can)
To your kids, the concept of divorce is hard to come to terms with. That is why you should try your best to not put your child in the middle. While it may be tempting to speak negatively about your ex, this will only work to hurt your children. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to pretend nothing is a worry but perhaps if you can’t find any positive words to say about your ex, then you should just leave it be.
A divorce will create a rift in your family, but this doesn’t mean that your child should choose sides. The details of the divorce may be turbulent, but if you can, try to spare your children from all the grisly details. This way your child’s perception of your partner and their parent can remain intact.
2) Get A Good Lawyer
A divorce proceeding can bring several things into play, the custody of your children being one of them. This is why a good lawyer will prove to be an invaluable resource. An experienced divorce attorney will not only protect your interests but also reduce your stress and avoid any mistakes such as underestimating an asset.
Furthermore, divorce lawyers are well versed in the ins and outs of this procedure, meaning they know how to ensure you receive everything you’re entitled to in your settlement and they understand your plight as a parent. For instance, seeking a divorce lawyer for men will ensure that your counsel is tailored towards your needs and wishes as a father. It’s highly likely that a good divorce lawyer has experienced a whole host of different situations and arrangements, so they will be able to offer the tools and information to proceed in an amicable fashion.
3) Make A Parenting Plan
As a parent, the interests of your children should always remain the number one priority. So, if you cannot agree on anything, you can at least agree that you want your children to be happy. Drawing on this idea, the most practical way to ensure an amicable process is to make a parenting plan. Using this plan, you can work together to decide what is in your kids’ best interest. Discussing topics like where the children will live, when each parent can see them, and how to support the kids is a way to clearly outline your wishes without miscommunication to avoid any unpleasant situations down the line.
4) Help Your Kids Adjust To Their Routine
Divorces can leave kids feeling that the rug has been swept from under their feet. In cases where kids now have two homes, it can be difficult to return to a state of normality. This is why it’s important to establish a routine between both parents that not only feels familiar but also allows your kids to adjust to this new situation. If your kids are moving between two houses, then try to maintain some sort of sameness. For example, ensure that your kids’ bedtime is the same or if you used to eat fast food on a Thursday then try to keep that tradition alive.