|Picture courtesy of HuffingtonPost.com|
Tuesday, 3 February 2015
Guest Post: Protecting Your Child During Divorce
Divorce has become a common thing these days and I know a lot of adults who were children of divorced parents. I've noticed that some of these adults went through some shocking times during their parents divorce mainly due to the lack of planning by their parents in how to help their children through such a difficult time.
I haven't been married, so I asked Aedan Kiernan, who was a child of divorce, to write this guest post to give advice to any parents out there currently going through a separation.
"When you and your partner reach a stage where you have agreed upon a divorce it can result in total upheaval for your children if you don’t handle the situation correctly. To help you make sure you keep the best interests of your children at heart we are offering you some pieces of basic advise about how to handle your separation with your partner in the best possible way for your children. A lot of people will shy away from the idea of breaking up with their other half purely for their children’s sake, however children are far more robust emotionally than we often assume and it is a sensible decision to leave your partner if you feel it is right for you.
First and foremost you need to be able to break the news of your separation with your partner to your children, once you have done this then the hardest part is out of the way. The worry of breaking your children’s hearts can make you feel sick to your stomach if you are approaching this task; it is a difficult part of separating if you have children. The best way to carry this phase out is to sit down with your partner (if this is possible) and explain to the children that you two will no longer be together, in the same household. Obviously, you will need to adjust your words to your own children – I can’t tell you the best things to say because everyone is different, take into account your child’s age and how much they can understand about the situation when you decide on what to say to them. Avoid blaming each other for your differences in front of your children, make sure they see that you two can co-operate and will both still continue to be the biggest parts of their life.
Try to make sure there is little tension between you and your partner, if there is it can make the children feel uneasy and might cause them to feel insecure about their future and where they lie between either of you. Obviously, it is not always easy to get along with your ex, however in front of the children if you keep it simple, and civil it will offer more stability. Cut out any negativity in front of your children by avoiding making comments towards each other – your children wont gain anything from this and could end up feeling like they have to take sides; when that is not the case.
Keep up your personal routines as well as the children’s routines. With things such as school taking priority, ensure that their attendance remains high so that they keep the same pattern with their school life. If they don’t achieve this it will mean upheaval at home simultaneously with their home life changing dramatically, allow them to continue their routines such as clubs that they might attend etc.
One of the most important thing is to make sure you continue to communicate with your children. Don’t let them think you are loosing touch with them, and most importantly don’t forget to tell them you love them. When your going through a separation if can leave your children feeling as though they might loose one of their parents due to not living with them permanently, put this worry at ease by reminding them how much you love them.
Another important decision you will have to make is which family and divorce lawyers you choose and its not a simple choose. Being that its already a very emotional time you want lawyers who can handle your case without causing to much more heart ache. There is also more option than just a divorce, you could choose collaborative law where you and your ex come to agreement rather than letting the courts decide and family solicitors like Neves Solicitors from Harpenden and Milton Keynes can help you with this. Before to decide anything it’s important to discuss your option and family lawyers Rix & Kay offer a free consultation which could help you decided what is best for you.
Throughout this whole process the thing to keep in mind the children and protecting their best interests at all time. Children can be serious affected for a long time should a divorce be handled badly. Always remember no matter what happens they are your children and you will always love them and they will always love you."