Divorce with Children Involved

Going through a divorce is never easy, but, sadly, this happens in just about half of all marriages today. Petty household arguments over who left the milk out or the electric bill unpaid soon turn into even larger discussions. What do you do about the house? Who gets the dogs? And, the biggest of all, what about the kids?

Divorcing when you have children is a whole different animal, and there is quite a bit to consider, such as:
● Are the kids more attached to one parent, or equally attached to both? No one wants to be the less popular parent, but equal loyalties can cause quite a bit of stress, feelings of disloyalty, and guilt.
● Have they experienced a loss recently? This could be as major as a beloved grandparent or some other family member, or a friend who has moved away. Maybe, even, a pet. Adding yet another loss may affect their ability to cope.
● Has there been a lot of conflict at home? Some people believe that if their children have been overly exposed to such conflict, they may be relieved at the prospect of divorce. Don’t count on it. While it may temper their disappointment somewhat, it usually does not help with their sadness over the situation.
● Have the kids moved recently or changed schools? You can learn a lot about how they will handle your divorce by studying how they have dealt with certain situational changes in the past.
● Do they have friends who are children of divorce? Kids talk about things, just like adults, and the experiences of their friends may help them to understand what is going on, and to deal with how their lives will change.
● How are you coping? Children look to their parents for security, stability, and guidance. If you are not handling the situation well, odds are that they will struggle, too.
● Children will look for a sense of stability in the midst of the chaos. Show them that you can collaborate with your ex when it comes to the important questions. It will make them feel more secure knowing that both parents can cooperate to take care of them.
● Each child is different and unique and will deal with the situation in a different and unique way. You should know your children by the way they have dealt with adversity in the past. Learn from this and treat each one as an individual.
● How old are the kids? The older they are, the more aware they will be. Communicate with them at the appropriate level. Very young children may not even remember ever being a part of a stable family unit, but they will be sensitive to changes in routine. Ease them along as much as possible.
● Children, especially, may be just as concerned about their economic stability as you are. Will they still have food, clothing, and shelter? Of course! But they may have to forego extra treats, trips, and activities. Try to arrange that their lifestyle remains as close as possible to that of their pre-divorce life.

And remember that dealing with a divorce, especially when children are involved, may be too difficult to handle alone. Therapy may help, either as an individual or as a family. Never be unwilling to ask for help, especially for the kids.

Some great information on helping children after divorce can be found here.

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Hope you have enjoyed my intake on divorce with children involved!

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