There can be no doubt that divorce is life-changing for couples ending their marriage, but the stakes are higher for parents who must address the needs of minor children. Beyond the legal issues involved with child custody, visitation, and support, divorce can shatter stability and cause a range of responses. Research shows that divorce carries physical and emotional challenges that can follow children into adulthood, affect future relationships, and impact academic performance.
However, there is an equal body of research revealing that children can also fare better when their parents divorce. Ending your marriage may reduce conflict and tension, improving your child’s overall well-being. You can best support your child when you have a Michigan divorce lawyer to handle the legal process, enabling you to focus on time with your family. Plus, some tips on preparing children for divorce may be useful for getting them adjusted to a new lifestyle.
Put the conversation on your calendar. An important conversation like this deserves undivided attention and freedom from distractions, so figure out a time to sit down with children to discuss divorce. Stow phones, turn off all electronics, and focus on the topic at hand.
Announce the news as a united front. You both participated in bringing the child into this world and will be responsible for them long after divorce is complete. As such, it is best to create the impression that you are a team working to raise your child together – even if you no longer have a romantic relationship.
Reassure children that divorce is not their fault. You would never blame your child for the breakdown of your marriage, but young ones see the world differently than adults. Make sure to stress that the divorce is only the end of your marital relationship; it does not impact the bond between each parent and the child.
Establish and maintain structure. Children always need guidance, and this is certainly true when faced with a considerable disruption to their status quo. Parents should have a basic framework for the arrangement that will continue through the divorce process, even if you have not determined a more permanent solution. Make sure you have some details in order before announcing divorce, such as:
- Where the child will live;
- The schedule for school and extracurricular activities;
- Transportation between parental homes and to/from other activities;
- Visitation for the school week, weekends, school breaks, vacations, and holidays.
Get help from mental health professionals. There are some emotional implications that you cannot handle on your own, so make sure you have a plan in place if your child needs help from a medical professional.
Trust a Michigan Divorce Attorney for Guidance With the Process
When you have an experienced lawyer to handle the details of your case, you are in a better position to focus on parenting and preparing children for divorce. Please contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins for more information on how we support our clients’ needs in divorce. We are happy to set up a consultation with an attorney who can explain what to expect through the process.