Making it to the Other Side: 6 Tips on How to Protect Your Kids Through the Divorce Process

Serving Clients Throughout Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Napa Counties

The breakdown of a marriage and the subsequent divorce takes a great emotional and psychological toll on both spouses. However, they are not the only ones affected by the divorce. The dissolution of a marriage has a lasting negative impact on the children too.

If you are currently going through a divorce or have decided that it is the only viable solution in your situation, you are likely worried about the effect it will have on your children. The good news is that you can do a lot to mitigate the negative effects of divorce on your children’s well-being. In this article, we show you 6 ways to successfully see your children through to the other side of your divorce.

1) Make the Children Your Priority

Divorce is an extremely stressful event and it will affect your life and personal well-being in a number of ways. However, you need to remember that as an adult, you are better equipped to deal with the impact of divorce than your children are. You have likely acquired psychological and emotional resilience they do not yet have. Therefore, throughout the divorce, you need to constantly be there for your kids if they are showing signs of stress and to make their well-being your priority. Reassure them that your love for them remains constant. Remind them that your ex-spouse’s love for them hasn’t changed either. In addition, make sure to explain to them that none of what is happening between you and your ex-spouse is their fault.

2) Keep the Children Out of It

Your children should have no part in the battles and disputes you may have with your spouse. Therefore, not only resist the temptation to pit them against the other parent but also ensure that they are kept out of any verbal disagreements and disputes. Speaking badly about your ex to your children, trying to use them as messengers or worse still, spies, could be damaging to their mental health. Such tactics will only confuse your children, put them through stress they are not prepared to handle, and ultimately jeopardize their future well-being. In addition, make sure that you don’t let your children act as your emotional caretakers or therapists. Instead, you should rely on your family, friends, or a licensed counselor/therapist to fulfill this role.

3) Communicate With Them

Keeping the children out of the arguments you have with your spouse doesn’t equal to keeping an impending divorce a secret. Children are expert observers and have an intuition for when things are going awry. Honest, age-appropriate communication will help you manage their emotions and anxiety related to the situation. At the same time, while you should inform your children about where your marriage is heading and explain the basic reasons for it, you should spare them the details they may not be prepared to handle yet.

4) Learn to Co-Parent Effectively

Your children will need both a mother and a father. Thus, extreme circumstances aside, your duty is to ensure that your children have a healthy relationship with both of their parents. Be reasonable while negotiating a custody and support agreement. If you are the custodial parent, follow the court orders for your ex-spouse to see and visit their children rather than hindering it. If you don’t have custody, make sure to stay present in the lives of your children. If you are required to pay child support, never fail to do so, as a divorce often puts children at an economic disadvantage.

5) Remember to Take Care of Yourself

The emotional and psychological stress of a divorce will take its toll on you. Therefore, do not neglect yourself. Treat yourself with compassion. Eat healthy, exercise, take time to meet with friends. If you find it hard to control your emotions or manage the stress and anxiety, seek the help of a therapist. The better shape you are in, both physically and emotionally, the better prepared you will be to assist your children.

6) Consult an Experienced California Family Law Attorney

Going through a divorce is all the more stressful if you don’t know what to expect of it. This is especially true if the issue of child custody and support is involved. Therefore, do not hesitate to contact a California family law attorney for your divorce. At Carroll Law Office, we take time to treat each person with dignity and compassion they deserve. Please contact us today or call 707-536-1156 to obtain the legal information and advice that will help you go through this difficult situation with the least amount of stress both for you and your children!

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