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Published On: Sat, Jan 9th, 2021

How to Protect Your Children in a Divorce

Ending a marriage is never an easy decision for anyone involved. This tough choice can be made even tougher if you and your spouse share children. It’s not uncommon for both parties to feel overwhelming sadness and guilt when going through an uncontested divorce, as they worry that their decision to dissolve the marriage can have a lasting negative impact on the kids. Regardless of whether your children are preschoolers, adolescents, or anywhere in between, divorce can be traumatic; however, if both you and your soon-to-be former spouse can find more happiness and fulfillment apart from one another, your children can actually benefit from having two parents who are happily divorced, as opposed to unhappily married.

Photo by Gerd Altmann

In order to protect your children’s feelings and put their best interests first during and after your divorce, Denver divorce mediators Split Simple emphasizes that it is essential for you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to commit to communicating positively and cooperatively when it comes to making parenting decisions. Here are a few tips for ensuring that your kids come through your divorce as easily as possible.

Don’t Badmouth Each Other

No matter the circumstances of your divorce or how you and your ex feel about one another, it is crucial that your children never hear you speak negatively about each other. Keep in mind that the person you’re speaking about is not just your former spouse, but your child’s mother or father, and speak respectfully and kindly about them in their presence.

Skip the Third Degree

Dying to know what your former spouse is up to now that your divorce is final? Just keep in mind that grilling your children when they come back from weekend visitation or a summer stay can make them feel like a pawn in their parents’ never-ending chess game. 

Help Them Stay Rooted

If possible, allow your children to remain in the residence they know as home. Too much change at once – for instance, a divorce that causes the children to have to move to a new neighborhood, city, or state as a result – can be especially traumatic for kids, as it causes them to have to say goodbye to their friends, school, and extracurricular activities.

Encourage Visits

If you have sole custody of the children, it is important for you to do everything in your power to make visitation with their other parent possible. This may mean having to drive them to your ex-spouse’s new residence yourself, or even being the one to plan and facilitate visitation activities or meeting spots. Whatever the case, it is critical that you make it clear that you are supportive of your children’s relationship with their other parent in order to make them feel as though they have to choose between you.

Choosing to divorce, especially with children involved, can be particularly heartbreaking for both spouses. However, it’s important to keep in mind that, if handled correctly, your new living arrangements can actually enhance your kids’ quality of life by having two happy parents existing in harmony.

Author: D. Smith

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