Divorce can be hard on just about everyone involved. If you share young children with your spouse, they may struggle through the process. There are a number of good habits to instill in yourself, your ex, and your kids, however, that can help ease young children through the process. Below, we discuss a few steps you can take to make things easier for children during and after the divorce. Call a dedicated Bronx divorce attorney for assistance if you are considering divorce in New York.
Avoid Conflict in Front of the Kids
If you can be civil to your ex, do so as much as possible. If the divorce is heated, limit communication to that which is strictly necessary (scheduling, important childcare decisions, etc.). Be brief and courteous. Rely on your therapist, your friends, and your family to discuss your feelings and get your heated emotions out. Avoid emotional topics whenever the kids are around.
If you know that you and your spouse are bound to erupt regardless of the nature of the conversation, however, do your best to keep those fights out of sight and out of earshot of your children. Divorce is hard on everyone, and seeing parents get upset and furious with one another can be especially stressful for children.
Never Bring the Kids Into the Fight
Regardless of whether you are able to have a civil conversation with your ex, it’s important to never bring your kids into the fight. Do not make your child act as a messenger or go-between with you and your ex. Do not bad-mouth your ex to your child, or try to “win” your kids over to your side. It can be tempting to do so, and it may even be difficult to avoid saying something negative when you are deeply angry or upset, but kids who are added to the conflict inevitably end up the worse for wear.
Try to Keep Continuity
Divorce is a time of significant change, but if there are areas in which you can keep things consistent, it’s worth doing so. If your kids can stay at the same school, continue with the same extracurricular activities, and otherwise keep some measure of same-ness during and after the divorce, they will find it much easier to process. Children can and will adjust to change over time, but easing them into the change can help make the process more gentle.
Remind Your Children You Are There For Them
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the complex emotions of a divorce, not to mention the financial, legal, and social aspects. Remember to take time to check in with your kids and put your focus on them. Do your best to find ways to vent your emotions and your frustrations elsewhere so that you can be emotionally present for your children. Utilize all of your parenting time, and check in with your kids. Ask them how they are doing throughout the process, and take time to listen and comfort them if they are struggling.
Be Ready With Answers and a Plan
Even if circumstances have to change, kids are able to cope. It helps, however, if they can have certainty where possible. When you break the news about the divorce, be ready, if possible, to answer questions like: Where will I live? Will I need to change schools? Where will we spend the holidays? Where will each parent live? Can I still go to camp this summer? If you have been able to craft a reasonable plan for how you will split parenting time, children will appreciate knowing what to expect.
Experienced Advice and Representation For Your Bronx Divorce
If you are considering divorce in New York, talk to a compassionate and well-versed New York divorce attorney at the Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm at 718-409-1200.