While it’s true that all children are affected to some extent by divorce, the degree to which it will has everything to do with your actions. You can make it more difficult for them to handle based on what you do or don’t do, or you can make it easier. It’s important to understand how to put your children first in a divorce case because it will go a long way toward mitigating the more negative effects that the experience can have.
Communication is crucial, so you should tell the children what they need to know but use age-appropriate language. Give them the opportunity to ask questions; listen to them, and pay attention to their needs. Don’t intentionally deprive them of the other parent if they tell you they miss them and want to see them while you are separated. If children feel free to see either of you during the divorce proceedings, they will feel less anxious about the future when the divorce is final.
Children aren’t equipped with the maturity to express their emotions in an understandable way. If you notice your children acting out or displaying behavior that is uncharacteristic of them, recognize that this may be how they are expressing their anger or confusion over the situation. Disruptive behavior may be a signal that your children need extra attention or reassurance, rather than punishment.
During a divorce, your children may feel caught in the middle of a war where they feel pressured to choose a side. Giving them the opportunity to talk to a neutral, unbiased third party can go a long way toward getting to the bottom of their feelings and issues with the divorce. Arrange for counseling if they need to talk to someone who is removed from the situation.
Don’t Involve Children in the Divorce Case
While a divorce can be fraught with frustration and anger, it’s imperative that you keep the tension away from the children. Whether you intend to or not, you can make them feel anxious and upset over things about which they shouldn’t even know. Find a friend or family member to vent to, but shield your kids from knowing too much about the case.
Remain Civil With Your Spouse
No matter what has happened in the marriage or how contentious your relationship is, you need to set your differences aside when it comes to considering the best interests of your children. They shouldn’t see or hear you yelling at each other or arguing about the case. Remember that to children, you both are their whole world, so when you tear down the other party, you are tearing down half your child’s world.
Have a Detailed Timesharing Plan
One of the most important ways you can put your children first is to have a detailed timesharing plan. Your plan should include specifics, such as what time and where children will be picked up and dropped off and who gets the children on Christmas Eve and Christmas day each year. An attorney will know the most common custody and timesharing issues to help you create a plan that includes particulars that you may not have thought of on your own.
Bergman Family Law Can Help
If you are preparing to file for divorce and are concerned about how it will affect your children, Bergman Family Law can help you take steps to put your children first through a well-crafted custody and timesharing plan. Bergman Family Law helps Florida families with a variety of family law issues. Learn how Bergman Family Law can assist you with any part of your divorce. Contact Bergman Family Law today.