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How to Help Your Little Ones Cope Amidst a Divorce

While divorce is emotionally stressful for the adults involved, it may be even more stressful for children in different ways. For a child, the family structure is all that he or she has ever known. Looking forward, the child sees incredible uncertainty. There may be concerns about where he or she will live, how much time can be spent with both parents and even if they will need to change schools. These are huge concerns for a child, and you can help to pave the way for a smoother transition by following a few tips.

Set Expectations

When you sit down to talk to your child about the divorce, it is important to set realistic expectations about what will happen going forward. When children do not have all of the facts that are relevant to their lives, their minds can run wild and may even imagine the worst. While you need to be open about how divorce will affect them, avoid involving them in any conflicts between you and your ex. Your child does not need to feel this stress or to be caught in the middle.

Ensure Equal Visitation When Possible

In some cases, equal visitation with both parents is not possible. There may even be instances, such as in the case of abuse, when you do not want your child around the other parent at all. However, in a typical situation, it is healthy for a child to spend time with both parents equally. The best way to do this is in a manner that does not disrupt his or her life significantly.

Maintain Their Lifestyle

When a couple separates, the shared income between the two adults is split. In many cases, both parents must adjust to a lower lifestyle. The child often may need to get accustomed to living in a smaller house and to deal with other changes. As much as is reasonably possible, however, keep the child’s lifestyle the same. For example, if possible, avoid making the child change schools, and let him or her continue with extracurricular activities.

Seek Legal Assistance

Many divorcing couples are able to amicably agree on a structure involving the child’s financial care, visitation, custody and more. If you can agree, it is still always a smart idea to consult with a divorce attorney such as Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. about the agreement before signing any documents. In the event that an agreement cannot be made outside of the courtroom, your attorney will need to negotiate with the other party’s attorney or represent you in court.

When you look at the divorce process through the eyes of a child, you can see that this can be a frightening and stressful experience. By taking these important steps, you can mitigate the emotional stress that your child may be feeling and work to create a stable home environment for him or her.

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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