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Protecting Kids from Divorce Tug-Of-Wars: 12 Golden Rules

27 Jan 2020

Posted in Family Law

Divorce can be a challenging time, not just for adults but for children too. When you are in consultation with a Divorce solicitor in London about the separation it can be a difficult period, especially for children who may be confused, upset and worried about what will happen. So, with all of that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can protect your children during this time.

Remember it’s not the child’s fault

Always remember that it’s not children who choose to get divorced, yet they have to go through the turmoil and uncertainty. Try to keep the divorce as amicable as you possibly can and don’t let any disagreements between you and your ex-partner impact on the way that you care for your children. Regardless of how tense things get, ensure that you remain civil with your partner and keep all interactions polite and mature.

Don’t Ask Children Who They Want to Live With

As much as it’s important to give children a choice, they shouldn’t have to choose who to live with. Living arrangements should be made so that both parents get to see the children and that disruption is kept to a minimum, particularly if the children are going through an important phase in school such as examinations.

Avoid Fighting, Even During Negotiations

Regardless of how much the relationship between you and your ex has deteriorated it’s important to have mutual respect for each other and avoid negotiations descending into chaotic interactions. The negotiations should always be in the best interests of your children and if necessary, consider something such as counselling to guide you through the separation.

Postpone Dating Temporarily

Divorce can be a lengthy process and you may meet someone new or you may consider dating again shortly after divorce proceedings have been concluded. However, before you do think about the effects that this will have on your children. It can be a difficult time when one parent leaves the family home and it can take children a little period of adjustment and this can be exacerbated if you introduce someone new too soon.

What If Your Ex Abandon’s The Kids?

Both parents are important to a child’s upbringing. Children who are brought up surrounded by loving, supportive and present parents this will have long lasting implications on them well into their adult life. If a parent leaves this can also have consequences and that loss will remain with the child for a very long time. Talk to your child and reassure them that their dad or their mum is having a difficult time and they can’t get in touch right now. The most important thing to emphasise is that the parent leaving has absolutely nothing to do with the children. Remain supportive and ensure that you talk to your children regularly about how they feel and how you can best support them.

Make The Transition From Home To Home Easier

Expecting children to go back and forth between two homes can be a struggle and unsettling so it’s important that if this is an arrangement that you agree on, perhaps with the children staying half the week with you and the other half with your ex-partner, the transition is as smooth as possible. Both homes should have basic things that the child needs such as their clothes, shoes, favourite books and toys and a room that they can call their own.

Consider Counselling

Counselling can be a great way to help children. Some may need it, some won’t. Play therapy is an incredibly effective way for children to process the emotion of their parents separating and it allows them to develop a positive way of understanding what has happened.

Be There Whenever Your Child Needs To Talk

Listening to your child is important throughout the process. Listen to what they have to say and let them vent their fears, frustrations, sadness and worries about the situation. Don’t argue with them or make them feel like they are being difficult. Expect to have this conversation multiple times over several months until they adjust to the new situation.

Never Talk About Each Other In Front of Children

A heated discussion, an exchange of words or a discussion with friends or family even if it’s in the next room can all be overheard by children. Never talk about your ex-partner in front of the children, well not in a negative way. Avoid making throwaway comments on social media or sending messages that you will regret later. Keep your communications amicable and think of how your actions will impact on the children.

Reassure The Children That You Both Still Love Them

This is important because simple reassuring words can really make all the difference, settling any worries and reminding the children that they are loved and wanted by both parents.

Reassure Children They Are Not Responsible

Sometimes children can think that their parents divorcing is somehow something to do with what they have said or done. It is very important that you reassure your children that this is not the case and they are in no way responsible for the separation if they raise it as an issue. It’s important to emphasise however that the decision has been made because children may become confused and think that this is an indication that parents will settle their differences and carry on as before.

Choose The Time and Place To Tell the Children

Telling your children that you are separating isn’t something that any parent wants to do. Before you sit down to tell your children that you plan to divorce, figure out what you are going to say and where possible try to keep the child’s life as much as you can, the same as it currently is whether this is their home routine, school, afterschool activities, friends and other things. It’s important that children have a sense of stability during this time even if the situation brings great uncertainty.