If handled correctly, your divorce will affect your children as little as possible. It doesn’t often play out that way though. Many parents make the mistake of dragging their kids into the middle of a divorce and using them as weapons against each other. There is a better way to handle a divorce proceeding and it is called a “Collaborative Divorce”.
In a normal divorce you basically leave everything up to the judge and they apply the law to your case as best they can. In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse meet before hand to discuss the issues and plan out solutions that are mutually beneficial. If you both agree on the details of a divorce then the judge is much more likely to sign off on what you agreed to. Since it involves very little fighting, a collaborative divorce puts a lot less stress on you and your children. If you are interested in learning more about the collaborative divorce process, call one of our experienced divorce attorneys today to set up a free consultation.
Regardless of which type of divorce you decide on, try to keep the following tips in mind to protect your children:
- Don’t lie. Children need to know what is going on but that doesn’t mean they need all the grisly details. Tell them the truth but give them the G rated version where possible.
- Tell them you love them, OFTEN. Children often think that they are somehow responsible for your divorce. They don’t understand that just because you and your spouse are getting a divorce it doesn’t mean that you love them any less.
- Leave them out of it. Don’t use them as a means to hurt your spouse. Kids are smart enough to understand a lot more than you think and you could end up damaging your relationship with your children a lot more than you hurt your spouse.
- Present a united front. Kids need stability and they need to know that even if you two aren’t together in marriage, that you will still act together to raise them.
- Help them to express their feelings. Some children have a hard time expressing themselves so you need to encourage them to let it out instead of keeping it bottled up.