Divorce and children. Separation is a stressful and life changing event for kids. There is no denying that.
As a loving parent, you want the best for your child, which includes ensuring that they are not harmed by your divorce. Seeing interviews with adults whose parents’ divorce had a negative impact on them, is heart-breaking.
You can do better than that, and coming to our site is the first step in that process.
Divorce doesn’t have to be handled alone.
Divorce is not an easy process for you or your children. You will likely be more stressed than usual, or grieving the end of your marriage or relationship. You may be short-tempered, teary, questioning yourself and feeling overwhelmed.
If this is happening for you, it’s important to get professional help to assist you through the process – and to remember that it is a process. Just like it takes time to get over the death of a loved family member, it takes time to grieve the end of a marriage.
We encourage clients to seek help from counsellors or psychologists – you don’t have to do this alone. Sometimes it is better to speak with a trained, neutral professional, than to dump your divorce woes on all your friends and family – it can be tough for them to hear.
If your children are showing different behaviour, withdrawing or struggling and, in the case of younger children, regressing in their milestones (such as starting to wet the bed again) that could be a sign that they too need some help.
Choose to divorce using a family law process that minimises conflict
By opting to use Untying the Knot’s fixed fee family dispute resolution solution, you and your child’s other parent will be committing to a consensual resolution of your matter. No Family Court, no war, no mud-slinging. A mediation process, drawing on the best of Collaborative Law, where you commit to putting your children first.
Children don’t want to be part of your divorce
Whilst many parents divorce, children don’t ask for them to separate, and they certainly don’t ask to be brought into it. Older children may be curious and ask about what is happening. This can stem more from fear of the unknown future, than a desire to actually know the details. Don’t be tempted to share with them – let them be children and keep the adult issues between you and their other parent.
Don’t talk badly of their other parent even when you think they aren’t within hearing. Those little ears might not hear you asking them to pick their socks up and put them in the wash, but they will hear all the things they shouldn’t! Asking them to choose sides is even more damaging. Ultimately, they will not thank you down the track.
Conflict, not divorce is harmful to children. Choose a family law process that minimises the possibility of conflict and maximises opportunity for discussion, such as our fixed fee family dispute resolution and family mediation solutions.
For further reading about how to reduce the impact of divorce on children, we recommend this article by
John T. Chirban, Ph.D., Th.D., a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and author of Collateral Damage: Guiding and Protecting Your Child Through the Minefield of Divorce and The Parenting Divorce Handbook