When two people agree to divorce in California, it’s a decision that can have a long-term impact, not only on the two parties but also on their children. Some of the biggest hurdles parents have to deal with include fighting a child custody dispute and helping the children to emotionally cope with their parents’ split. However, some tips can be helpful for making the transition as easy as possible for the kids.
It is helpful to have a strong support system during a divorce proceeding. For instance, it is wise for a parent to let his or her children’s babysitters and teachers know about the split as well as the parents of the children’s friends. These adults can tell the parent if they notice unusual behaviors in the children as they go through the divorce.
Also, if a parent is feeling sorrowful about the divorce, it’s okay to let the children know this. However, it’s not wise for a parent to expect the children to comfort him or her. Instead, it’s the parent’s responsibility to comfort the kids. Sometimes parents use their kids to give messages to the other spouse or even to spy on the other party, but this can cause additional problems in the family unit. Badmouthing the other party can additionally make matters worse.
Sometimes it may be necessary to use a therapist to work with the parents and kids together. Going through a divorce can be a shock to the children involved, who may worry about whether Mom or Dad will end up with custody of them. However, if the two parents can work out a practical parenting plan through divorce mediation, this may prevent the court in California from having to get involved.
Source: The Huffington Post, "9 Things To Consider Before Telling Your Kids About The Divorce", Armin Brott, July 26, 2014