Although current statistics predict that about half of couples tying the knot will eventually divorce, that doesn’t make it any easier on the parties involved–especially when it comes to having minor children in the home.
Divorce, as commonplace as it has become, can leave a devastating impact on kids who see and feel their families tearing apart. Even if you are an older sibling splitting from your spouse, you still have a duty to cushion the blow, though you may be wrapped up in your own pain. There are no hard and fast answers as to how to ease the transition, but I can give you some suggestions.
The final decision to split from your spouse will likely induce a whirlwind of confusion as you try to figure out the logistics–who is moving where, when you will break the news to others, and so on. But you both need to take the time to have individual talks with your children.
You may feel like you need some distance to grieve on your own, and you should certainly take some time to mourn the loss of your relationship, but your children will feel isolated and guilty if you grow cold toward them or take off.
You must meet your own needs, too, however. Try to schedule some alone time or outings with friends while your kids are at school or participating in extracurricular activities. Do what you need to do so that when your children at home, you can give them your attention.
Don’t push your children into communication that they might not be ready for. Some kids may be withdrawn and sullen, while others may want to have an open conversation with you. Show your love regardless of their reaction.
It would be wise to enroll them in individual counseling and allow them to speak with your divorce lawyer. Divorce attorneys deal with children regularly, and they can explain the potential custody arrangements in a way that even the little ones can understand. They can also recommend the best counseling services for your situation.
There is an inclination in many parents to “make it up” to their children by filling an emotional hole with material things. This will still leave the hole empty in the long run, so fill it instead with quality time. Play games at home, take them for ice cream, and help them with their homework. They may act angry and pull away at first, but be persistent.
Work hard with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and your divorce lawyer to reach a settlement that is fair to both of you. After all, your children will need a good financial base from both of you in order to have a continually stable existence.
Elizabeth Christy, Attorney At Law (http://www.elizabethchristy.com/) is a divorce lawyers Vancouver WA offers divorce and family law legal services focused on providing personalized advice and counseling based on her clients’ unique legal needs.