Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Help Support Children Through a Custody Case

Children are sensitive to many situations. Custody cases are things that can disrupt the family. Dealing with children during these times is tricky. We have four ways you can help your kids get through the long process with as little emotional damage as you can.

Keep the kids out of the conflict

Children soak up everything they see and hear. To keep your kids from feeling like they are at fault for something, it is wise to keep them away from discussions about visitation and custody. If you need to include the children, then wait for a time when everyone is calm and can speak clearly and confidently about the situation. Keeping children out of the arguments between two parents will prevent them from feeling as if they have to choose a side.

Talk with your family lawyer

When you are at a loss for ideas, your family law team can help. These people spend every day working with parents, couples, and families. They know and see custody problems on a daily basis. Your lawyer or paralegal can provide a list of resources you can use to ensure your children get through the custody process in the most healthy manner.

Simplify legal talk and be straightforward

Mediation is a big word for some kids. So are many other legal terms. To avoid confusion, it is best to be direct and speak in terms the children can understand. If the kids are little, then use words that they might know from school or talking with friends their age. For older kids and teens, some of the legal words may be acceptable if they know what they mean. You can always ask questions to find out what terms you need to explain.

Work with a child therapist

A therapist who works with children knows how to reach them and see if they are having trouble with the custody case. These specialists talk with children who undergo many trials in life, so they understand how to get kids to talk. If your child is experiencing unusual outbursts, quiet spells, or abnormal bouts of behavior, then seeking the help of a child therapist could help.

Just because the family dynamic is changing does not mean the kids need to go through a rough time. By honoring the children and supporting their needs throughout the process, you allow your kids to stay close to both parents. With these tips, the kids may flourish knowing the parents care about them no matter what happens or who lives where.

Tim Esterdahl

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