Ending a marriage is never easy, but it can be especially challenging when there are children involved. In fact, it’s not uncommon for parents to postpone filing for divorce until their kids have grown up and moved out of the house.
While it’s certainly understandable why some couples opt to stay married even if they’re unhappy together, research has proven it’s entirely possible to raise happy, healthy kids following divorce. It’s important to remember, though, that even the most well-adjusted children can struggle with the transition. After all, this is a permanent shift in the only family dynamic they’ve ever known.
Thankfully, there are ways parents can make divorce easier on their kids. If you’ve decided to end your marriage, here are a few tips for helping your children cope with the news:
1. Remind Them of Your Love
Regardless of their age, your children are going to need reassurance that you’ll always be a family. They will need to be reminded that even though you and your spouse will no longer be together, you’ll always love them. They could also benefit from seeing you two cooperate when it comes to drop-offs, pick-ups, sports games, school events, and other aspects of the new custody arrangement.
2. Be Honest with Them
It may be tempting to sugarcoat things when answering your kids’ questions about the situation, but doing so could do more harm than good in the long run. Try to answer all their questions in an honest—but still age-appropriate—way.
For example, if they ask whether you’ll ever get back together, let them know the new arrangement is permanent; however, you can soften the blow by talking about the benefits of living in two different homes (like twice as many clothes and toys).
3. Arrange for Counseling
Even if your children appear to be taking the news well, schedule at least one private session for each of them with a therapist who works with adolescents. Their school counselor may be able to recommend a few local providers.
During the appointment, they will get the opportunity to talk about issues that they don’t necessarily feel comfortable discussing with you or their other parent. Having an outlet where they can address concerns without worrying about upsetting Mom or Dad will be invaluable over the course of the transition. And if the therapist thinks they could benefit from additional sessions, he or she will let you know at the end of the appointment.
Speak with a New York Family Law Attorney Today
If you’re facing a stressful divorce or contentious custody battle—or both—turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our compassionate attorneys understand the emotional and financial challenges that come with ending a long-term relationship.
By letting us handle the logistics of your case, you can focus on more important matters, like spending quality time with your children. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a family lawyer in New York.