Tips for communicating with your children during a divorce

While divorce is a difficult time period for any family, it's important to take the time to focus on your children. Kids of all ages struggle when their parents separate, but open communication can help. Here's how.

Separating from your partner is a challenging decision that may or may not have been your choice. As you move forward through the divorce process, it's important that you aim to control your emotions toward your partner and your situation. Although it's challenging, make sure you take the time to communicate carefully with your children during the divorce process. Regardless of their ages, there are a few things you can focus on in order to effectively communicate with your kids every step of the way.

First off, focus on being honest. Don't try to hide the divorce from your children. Ideally, you and your partner should sit down and talk with your kids about the divorce. You may want to consider using a mediator or even meeting with a family therapist to talk with your kids during this time. Divorce is a very sensitive topic; however, it's something that will affect your children in a very tangible way. Understand that you do not need to reveal the root cause of the divorce, but you should explain to your kids that their lives will change. Remind them that both you and your partner will continue to love and support them during this time.

It's also important to demonstrate patience. Your children will have a lot of big emotions throughout the divorce process. They may struggle to express themselves appropriately. It's not uncommon for children of divorcing parents to struggle at school or to lash out verbally. Try to refrain from becoming angry or threatening during this time. Instead, take a deep breath. Try to see things from your children's perspective. Remember that to them, this is a huge life change they were not expecting. Regardless of who gets custody of them, they may feel stressed, anxious, or even depressed during this time.

Talk with your kids about what they want. You and your partner will have some decisions to make regarding parenting time. You may each have some strong opinions about where the kids will live and go to school, but have you talked with your children? It's important to give your kids as much control as possible during this time. Being able to have a say in where they live or who they live with can help your kids regain their confidence and to feel more self-assured during this time. Understand that one parent doesn't have to receive sole custody of the children. It's perfectly okay to request that you both evenly share time with the children. If your family cannot come to an agreement as to where the children will live, a judge will make the final decision; however, it's best if your family can come up with an arrangement that works well for you.

No matter what led to your decision to divorce, an experienced divorce attorney can help you put things in perspective during this time. Reach out to schedule your consultation as soon as possible so you can get the help you need during this time.