I often experience a rise in inquiries about divorce and child custody every January after the holidays. If you are considering divorce I find that it is best to communicate with your children. It is best to consult with a psychologist about how to approach this situation with children. Children need stability and the divorce process can be very unsettling for children. Therefore, the following may be helpful.
1. If possible, tell the children together in private that the two of you will be getting a divorce. Obviously, certain situations will not permit this to occur. For example, if there is domestic violence in your relationship.
2. Make sure you tell the children that it is not their fault. Children often tend to blame themselves for the failure of your marriage or relationship. It is important to tell your children that you both will always love them. Your children should feel like they are loved by both of you during the divorce process.
3. Do not alienate the other parent from the children. The children should not be forced to “choose sides” or agree with your reason for your divorce.
4. You should Co-Parent with the other parent. Even though the two of you have differences, it is extremely important to ignore your differences when dealing with your children and the other parent.
5. Add Structure to your child’s schedule. Divorce often causes your children to feel insecure. Therefore, it is very important to have structure so your child will feel as secure as possible when going through a divorce. This means that a structured custody schedule is important to a child. You do not want your child to feel as though he or she is constantly living out of a suitcase.
Obviously, these are general guidelines which may not apply to your situation. It is best to consult a professional psychologist or Marriage Family Therapist to further discuss. I hope this helps some families with children who are experiencing divorce. For any questions regarding your divorce please call Attorney Keith F. Simpson at (310) 297-9090 or visit http://www.simpsonlaw.net.