Tips to help children deal with a divorce

Divorcing parents may need to consider counseling, remain united and encourage family relationships to help their children cope with a divorce.

When Washington couples pursue a divorce, the husband and wife may not be the only ones affected by the change. Many married couples have children who also have to deal with the aftermath of a marital separation. Not only do children complicate these legal proceedings due to the need for determining child support and parenting time, but they can also make the breakup more emotionally challenging. It may take children longer to understand the benefits of a divorce.

Consider counseling

Parents and children can benefit from counseling during a divorce. Without a source of comfort, the divorcing couple may turn to their children for help sorting through their feelings. However, children will benefit more from being left out of the heart of the separation. This means the mom and dad may want to seek counseling to ensure they do not discuss specific details with any of the kids.

Because a divorce can cause a child to feel like his or her life is being turned upside down, it may be necessary to take the child to a counselor as well. This can give the child a safe place to discuss his or her fears and worries.

Present a united front

Most married couples split up because of major disagreements or an inability to cohabitate. Even though there may be some strife between the couple, a united parental front is beneficial for the child. This can mean many things, including the following:

  • The parents tell the children about the upcoming separation together.
  • The mother and father refrain from talking negatively about each other in front of the kids.
  • The rules in each household remain similar to the rules the children had prior to the divorce.

When kids are able to maintain a similar routine, they may be able to cope with a major life change easier.

Encourage family relationships

Depending on the situation of a divorce, the child may end up spending more time with the mother or father. No matter who has primary custody, it is beneficial for the children to be able to maintain a relationship with both parents. This could mean the child is encouraged to call the other parent before bed each night or when there is big news to share. It also means the ex-spouses have to remain in contact to share news about upcoming events that pertain to the child.

Washington parents looking to get a divorce need to keep their children in mind throughout every step of the proceedings. Regardless of whether a divorcing couple has children or not, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable about the divorce process.