This is a Guest Post:
The number of divorces in the UK is declining, but that’s no comfort to those who are heading for a split. If there are children, things can be even more complicated.
With potential legal battles about care and contact, children often feel upset and angry. It’s crucial that you help your children during this time and remain a strong pillar for your children.
Age Can Make a Difference
The age of your children will play a part in their response and reaction to the divorce. For younger children, this may be the first time they’ve ever heard the word divorce. For older children, perhaps friends of theirs at school will have been in similar situations.
It’s important to think about the effect the divorce will have on your children, and to look at the development issues which the children might face at that age.
If you know friends or relatives who have been through a divorce and their children were a similar age, talk to them and ask how their children reacted. Get advice on how they were able to support them.
Talk to Your Children
It’s important to support your children and be there for them during your divorce, explaining clearly what is happening during the process. It can be nerve-wracking talking to your children about the divorce process, so think about what you’re going to say beforehand. If possible, try and have the conversation together with your partner and be prepared for any questions they might have. One of the most important things to tell your children is that it is not their fault and remind them that you love them.
Don’t Use Your Children to Vent or Be a Messenger
It can be natural to feel angry with your ex-partner, but your child may not understand this. Children don’t want to hear you talking badly about the other parent. If this must be done, talk to your lawyer or solicitor, or a close friend who will better understand your emotions than your children. Your child should not act as a messenger either. If you need to talk to your partner, do this yourself and not through your child.
Divorce Can Be Positive For Children
When discussing divorce with children, some are actually pleased that their parents are divorced. If divorce is the best option for you and your partner, many children are happy to see their parents thrive.
Living in a household with constant arguing can have a very negative effect, so there may be a sense of ease when children hear that their parents are separating. This is important to note. While it may be a difficult time for everyone involved, knowing that, in the long run, both you and your children will feel happier is definitely a positive outcome.
Make the Transition as Easy as Possible For Children
By the time you’ve told your children about the divorce, make sure that you’re already in the process of making it happen. The swifter the transition, the easier it is. As a divorce lawyer, I know that the sooner you start the process, the better it is for everyone involved.
About the Author: Clayton Miller is a divorce lawyer in London and founding member partner of KMJ Solicitors. With over fifteen years as a family law specialist, Clayton knows the difficulties for everyone involved with divorce and offers a personal approach to clients seeking his services.