Tips for Helping Children Cope with Divorce

Each year, thousands of children in the United States experience the stress of divorce. The way in which an individual child will cope with the situation depends on a number of factors, including his age, personality, and the circumstances of his parents' divorce. Though the process is never easy, children can emerge from the experience better able to deal with stress and more capable of managing their own relationships.

Key Tips for Parents

As they go through the process of separation and divorce, parents can sometimes find themselves in difficult situations. When it comes to their children, parents should remember:

· Keep children away from any heated conversations or discussions about the legal process

· Seek to minimize disruptions in children's everyday routines

· Avoid negativity and critical discussions of each other in the presence of children

· Try to keep both parents involved in children's lives as much as possible

· No matter how willing or mature they may seem, do not seek emotional support from your children

Talking to Your Children

Once parents have made their decision to file for divorce, they should settle on a strategy about how best to share the decision with their children. If possible, both parents should be present and should avoid expressing anger, resentment, or any other negative feelings during the conversation. The most important message for parents to convey is that the divorce is not the children's fault.

Children will likely be curious about how their daily lives will change and parents should be prepared to answer some basic questions:

  • Where will they live?
  • Will they have to move?
  • Will they have to change schools?
  • Where will they spend holidays?

Of course, parents may not have all the answers necessary to respond to some of these questions. They should, however, attempt to answer their children's questions as clearly and honestly as they can.

Overall, parents should remember to be patient with themselves and their children. Divorce can be an emotionally difficult process for everyone involved, but children can and will adjust with the right kind of support.

A Family Law Attorney Can Help

If you are considering filing for divorce and have questions about issues like child custody, contact an experienced family law attorney. A knowledgeable family law lawyer can assess your case, advise you of your rights, and discuss your options. For more information, contact an attorney today.