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Understanding the Impact of Divorce on Children

Updated: September 22, 2017

When hiring a New York divorce attorney one of the first thoughts you may have is the feeling of your children. Children are the ones most affected by a divorce aside from the parents themselves. While children are resilient, they can’t prepare for the ways their lives will change in a divorce. Keep in mind the following effect divorce can have on your children and what to do if they become distressed by their parents separating.

Parents are already going through an emotional time as they split from their partner—the mother or father of their children. They may have been with this person for many years—possibly decades. While adults are dealing with their own stress, they must also think about their children and help them cope through this difficult. Here are 7 ways in which parents can help their kids better cope with the effects of divorce.

1. Explain the Coming Changes

Children are creatures of habit. Any sudden and unexpected changes in their daily lives can have a profound effect. When you’re consulting a New York divorce attorney it’s already past the point where you can hide the truth. Children deserve to know why their parents are separating. Now they don’t need all the details just a direct and simple explanation. Be frank about the fact some aspects of their lives will be different, while other parts will remain the same. Lastly, while it may sound simple remind your children that you love them.

2. Don’t Assign Blame

According to a New York divorce attorney, one of the worst things divorcing parents can do is start assigning blame. Do not be critical of your soon to be ex-spouse. When children see this they feel they have to take a side and may resent one parent because of this. Also, they may very well start thinking they did something wrong. In most cases, the one thing most divorcing couples can agree upon is they still love their children. So if possible plan everything out with your spouse and explain things as a team. Always show respect and restraint when talking about your spouse while you’re explaining the divorce.

3. Helping With Depression

In such a stressful and confusing time it is only natural for children to be confused and depressed. Above all listen to your children and help them open up about what they are feeling. One of the best things you can do is reassure them. Remind them that both parents still love them and will be there for them. These are trying times for any parent, and professional advice from a New York divorce attorney can help.

4. Don’t Badmouth the Other Parent

No matter how you feel about the other person, do not talk negatively about him or her in front of the children. This forces the kids to take sides, and that’s not what you want to accomplish. The other parent is the kid’s mother or father, who will still be an important part of your child’s life. Get rid of the negativity and act civil—remember, you are the adult.

5. Have the Kids Talk to a Therapist

Children often are scared to talk to their parents about their feelings. Letting them vent to a third party can help relieve stress and help them talk through their emotions. If you cannot afford therapy, rely on an adult relative.

6. Put the Children First

Eventually, you will move on and find a new love interest. Remember that your children still need to come first. Kids will feel less jealous about a new relationship if you make sure they understand their place in the family.

7. Establish New Rituals

Changing things up a bit after a divorce can be a breath of fresh air. Maybe you can all enjoy a special dinner once a week or try new activities together. It gives the kids something fun to look forward to and takes their mind off the stress, anxiety, anger and other emotions they may be struggling with. Plus, the kids will be spending more time with the other parent, so this makes the time you do spend together much more special.

Help from a New York Divorce Attorney

Divorce is not only hard on the parents—the child tends to suffer as well. It won’t be easy, but there are things you can do to make the transition easier. Being amicable towards the other parent is a good start. The law offices of Alatsas Law Firm are experienced professionals who can make this rough time easier for you and your children. Call us at (718)-233-2903 or fill out a contact form.