A divorce is a big change for parents and children. While parents deal with the complicated legal matter of untangling a marriage, children are often confused. They may feel scared, powerless and frustrated or angry.
Parents going through a divorce who want to prepare their children may need to consider the following:
1. Talk about the divorce early
Children will eventually learn about the divorce – it can’t be a secret forever. Parents may want to talk about the divorce early so that they’re prepared for the future. For example, a divorce may mean that children will need to change schools or live in a new home.
2. Keep your children updated about changes
There’s a lot parents have to do to finalize a divorce. Many of the decisions made early on may change later. Parents may want to talk to their children about any changes that were made.
3. Stay neutral with your soon-to-be-ex
Parents can do more than just talk to their children about the divorce. Parents may want to consider staying neutral with their children’s other parents. Parents who keep a neutral relationship after a divorce may be able to make better decisions for their children.
4. Spend some one-on-one time
Divorce can be upsetting for children. Parents may want to consider spending some one-on-one time with their children before and after the divorce finalizes. This could help children understand that things may change but that their parents are still there for them.
5. Ask your children how they’re doing
Furthermore, parents may want to consider asking their children how they’re feeling. Children are often honest about their feelings. If a child is saddened or scared by the divorce, then parents may want to consider having an in-depth talk so that their children can process the changes better.
Parents who learn about their legal rights during a divorce may have a more favorable outcome.