Divorce can be one of the most painful things to go through, especially when there are kids involved. While you should never stay in a situation that no longer serves you, the manner in which you handle the split should be taken with extra precaution as your children will be affected by your every move. Here is how you can protect them throughout this pivotal journey.
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Announce the Split Together
They don’t need to know every detail about your decision to separate. In fact, it is best not to even touch on the heavy adult stuff. However, they do deserve some sort of explanation so that they don’t come up with their own harmful conclusions or end up blaming themselves. This conversation would be best had with both parents present so that there aren’t opposing stories floating around. To ensure the smoothest delivery, meet with your spouse beforehand to jump on the same page.
Communicate From the Beginning to the End
Communication doesn’t end after the news is broken. As you all transition forward, open communication will have to become a running theme. Especially in the beginning, you will want to check in with your child to see how they are managing the split. Encourage open dialogue, and pay attention to any sudden changes in behavior. If you notice that they seem withdrawn or depressed, it might be time to seek out the help of a professional therapist.
Seek Legal Counsel
While settling outside of court sounds ideal, it is simply not an option for everyone. Understandably, a lot of parents have a hard time accepting the fact that they might not be waking up to their children every morning or spending their favorite holidays together. Also, financial issues and general concerns regarding a child’s well-being might be enough to spark a custody dispute. If you feel this coming on, your best bet would be to seek legal counsel.
Custody battles can get ugly, and through desperate attempts to win, your dirty laundry can be aired out for the court to judge. This is why it is vital to enlist the help of professional and experienced family lawyers in Caloundra. Working with one of these specialized attorneys will give you the upper hand even when you don’t expect things to go in your favor as their years of experience grants them the ability to put together a solid case that supports your best interests.
Capitalize on Quality Time
With so much on your mind and new obligations to fulfill, it can be easy to pull back your attention without even realizing it. Not to mention, dinner time will look different, and family outings might no longer be a thing, leaving plenty of time to grieve the times that once were. Developing a routine where quality time is emphasized by both parents will remind them that they are still deeply cared for and that their needs will always remain at the forefront. On the flip side, though, don’t allow your own overwhelming feelings of guilt and worry to lead you to smother your child. If you want them to adapt well to this change, give them a little space so that they can process it on their own.
Keep Them Out of the Messy Stuff
Adults are human too, and you are bound to face emotional ups and downs throughout the ride; however, it is your duty and that of your ex-spouse to ensure that your child never has to feel the brunt of this. An easy way to create this kind of harm is to nominate your child as the messenger. This is not their place and will inevitably birth a world of issues. Speak to each other directly and with respect, especially when your child is around. Also, if you plan to introduce them to new partners, do so with tact. Have a conversation with them beforehand to make sure that they are in the right mental space to have this meeting. If they aren’t yet ready, give them some time. Forcing the issue will only cause resentment and further strain.
Above all else, grace them with love and compassion. With the right formula and an extra dose of communication, you can shield your children from many of the challenges and emotional battles that often stem from divorce and ultimately cultivate a much stronger family unit.