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Helping Children

The most difficult and complex forms of divorce often are related to parents’ disputes over the custody of their children. The stress of these disputes can not only affect the parties, but their children as well. The tips below are suggestions to help you get through this tough time as well as lessen any affect it has on the children. These tips are geared toward making efforts to work through this time with you spouse and the children. If you know you are facing a contested custody click here for tips to protect yourself.

Make every effort to work together

While in the midst of a contested and emotional divorce this may seem impossible. Before giving up and simply continuing the fight, you should discuss with your attorney every alternative to a custody dispute and make every effort to sit down and discuss those alternatives with your spouse.

Accept that you will always both be the children’s parents

No matter how terrible the situation the reality is that your spouse will always be the parent of your children long after these divorce proceedings are over. You and your children will have to deal with this person. Accepting this fact early on can help you lay the foundation to build a positive relationship between you and your soon to be ex for the sake of the children.

Separate the children from the marriage and the assets

If it seems like the two of you cannot agree on anything, try to separate your discussions of your marital issues from your discussions over your children. Often times people who cannot get along on even simple matters can still isolate their conversations and talk about what is best for their children, civilly.

Do not argue in front of the children

If you and your spouse are still living in the same household arguing in the presence of the children helps no one.

Assure the children this is not their fault

It is not uncommon for children to believe they have shared some responsibility for the marriage ending. It is important that they understand that the reasons for the marriage ending have nothing to do with them or their behavior.

Assure the children they are loved

It is very important during this emotional time that the children have re-enforced upon them that both parents love them.

Do not discuss the issues of the divorce with the children

While the divorce is pending whether you and your spouse are still living together or not issues pertaining to the divorce including issues pertaining to custody should never be discussed with the children. This was not their marriage, it is not their divorce and involving them in any way can have negative consequences especially if you are in a custody dispute.

Limit older children’s involvement

Older children and teenagers can be more difficult than younger children when it comes to keeping them from the issues of your divorce. Often older children will seek involvement or take positions. Whether your child is 3 or 17 it is still not a matter for their input. Divorce is a matter for you and your spouse alone. Remind them of this and assure them they are loved by both parents.

Never ask the children to take sides

It is extremely unfortunate, but in some cases a parent will attempt to elicit from a child a commitment for them to live with them or to support one parent over another. This can lead to serious psychological consequences, if you suspect your spouse has done this with your child contact your attorney immediately.

Explain to your children the finality of Divorce

Make sure the children understand that the marriage will end, but do so in a way that assures them of the continued love and commitment of both parents. Focus on the fact that they will still be seeing both parents frequently and that both parents will always be there for them.

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