Best Interests: Putting Your Children First in a Divorce

A divorce is never an easy thing to experience. When a couple stood before family and friends and said their vows, they didn’t imagine anything going wrong. However, there are times in life when divorce is the only answer. In the case of divorce with children, it is very important for parents to put their differences aside and think about what the kids need. Things can get a little tricky, but it’s best to consider these points as you guide your children through such a rocky transition.

Counseling

When a child watches their mom and dad go through a divorce, it can be an incredibly traumatic period. Many children struggle with the thought that it could be their fault. They wonder if there was anything they could’ve done to prevent it. There’s also an element of wondering if their parents will ever get back together. Some children begin to act out or withdraw to deal with these feelings. They may struggle with things they enjoyed previously and they might not feel comfortable talking to either of their parents about their feelings. In this case, it’s a good idea to consider counseling for your children. Visiting with a therapist can help them work through their feelings of guilt, loss, or anger in a way that is not harmful.

Quality Time

As your child watches their family split apart, they may demand more attention from you or your spouse. You should make sure you spend quality time with your children, outside of divorce proceedings. The quality of the time you spend and the things you do matter more than the amount of time you spend with them. Use your time with your children to assure them that you still love them. You should also make sure that they don’t neglect their relationship with your former spouse. Having good relationships and quality time with both parents is crucial for the wellbeing of the child, and it can help avoid feelings of abandonment. 

Legal Assistance

It’s wise to sit down with an attorney and look at the options you have for your divorce. Experienced family law attorneys can help you work through custody, child support, and property divisions. Consulting a lawyer doesn’t always mean taking your divorce to court. There are many different options, including legal separation and divorce mediation. Tad Nelson & Associates, a Texas family law attorney, recommends that couples attempt to resolve matters of the divorce through communication and cooperation, instead of taking the divorce to court. This can significantly reduce the stress for both you and your children.

Support System

The stress of going through a divorce can wear you down quickly. Making sure you have a strong support system will be important for your stress levels and wellbeing. This in turn will affect your children. Make sure you take the time to talk to family, friends, or a therapist. Make sure you get enough sleep and find coping strategies that work best for you. Always remember that it is good to ask for help. The better you are feeling, the better your children will do with all the changes in their life.

While divorces are final and hurtful, there is hope on the other side. You’ll get through this difficult period and your children will be okay. Remembering your children and putting their needs first can help you resolve issues more peacefully, allowing everyone to move on with less stress.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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