How to Put Your Children First when Divorcing
Many parents realize that their divorce will upend their children’s lives, and they want to make things go as smoothly as possible. However, few parents know instinctively how to go about this, so they look for helpful advice.
At Barbara Flum Stein & Associates, we understand that a divorce involves more than filing the correct legal forms in court. There are also real lives and emotions at stake. Below, our Media divorce attorneys offer some tips on how to really put your child’s well-being at the center of the divorce process.
Never Trash Your Spouse in Front of Your Children
Divorce is usually emotional. Many spouses are disillusioned, believing that they would remain married until one of them died. As you work through the legal aspects of divorce, you will also work through the emotional ones.
Although tempting, you should never speak poorly of your spouse in front of the children. For one thing, it invites your children to take sides, which is unfair to them. For another, trashing your spouse could also come back to haunt you in a child custody dispute. If you are on the record slamming your spouse, then a judge might assume you will try to alienate your children from their other parent if given custody.
If you need someone to vent to, pick a close friend. If you can afford it, also visit a therapist who might have strategies for managing your anger.
Present a United Front to Your Children
Children still need to see that their parents can work together, even if they can’t remain married. For this reason, you should tell your children about the divorce together. This means talking between the two of you ahead of time about what you will say.
Also remain united after telling them. Stick to your story about why you are separating and how your children’s lives will change.
This is a hard one. Your children might have many questions about why your marriage is ending, and you need to be selective about what you tell them. Did Dad cheat with his secretary? The children probably don’t need to know. Did Mom run up $12,000 in credit card charges to strike back at Dad? The children don’t need to know.
However, you should also be honest about those things that directly impact your children. If you might need to move after divorce, don’t lie and deny it. If the children might have to change schools, you should break the news to them so that they can adjust.
Tell Your Children You Love Them
Although some things might change, other things will remain the same—and you need to regularly remind them that they are loved and that their parents will both stay involved in their lives.
If you are contemplating divorce, contact one of our Delaware County divorce lawyers. We can provide other tips for removing as much stress as possible from your children during this difficult time. Contact Barbara Flum Stein & Associates to schedule an initial consultation.