The effects of divorce on children are well-documented. Several studies have demonstrated that children of divorced parents are more likely to exhibit behavioral issues, seek mental health counseling and suffer from mood disorders than children whose parents remain wed. What is less understood and acknowledged are the ways in which divorcing parents can mitigate the negative impact the process has on their children.
Put the children first
When parents divorce, they send a strong subconscious message to their children that there are priorities and problems in their lives so important that they outweigh the obligation to keep the family together. From the outset, children involved in a divorce can feel marginalized and pushed aside. This is especially the case when parents seem more focused on the legal process of divorce. Always take the time to understand what your child has a right to expect during the divorce, and to ensure his or her needs are met.
Remember the rights of your child
Your children may not have a right to keep you from divorcing, but they certainly have the right to express their feelings about your divorce. Communicate frequently with your children during the process and make sure they know they have safe, open means to express their feelings on everything to you. They also have the right to ask you questions about the divorce, and to receive honest answers.
Prepare for this to hurt. Your children may accuse you of selfishness and betrayal. They may express a desire to live with your ex.
Divorce causes children and parents emotional pain. Regardless of how hard you work to prevent it, your child will feel sadness. Accepting and respecting this is often the first step towards moving beyond the pain. The Law Firm for Family Law understands the difficulties of divorce. Consult with one of our divorce attorneys for experienced and compassionate legal counsel.
Contact us at (727) 531-8737 to schedule your free initial consultation and discuss your case.