Divorce is a challenging process for everyone involved and can be one of the hardest events in someone’s life – this is especially true for the children of divorcing parents. Children might not fully understand what a divorce is or why their parents won’t be living together anymore. However, with careful planning and the help of experienced family law attorneys, parents can soften the blow of divorce to their kids and make sure they feel loved and secure.
Before telling your kids about the divorce, try figuring out key details of the split with your spouse. This will help you answer your child’s questions in ways that reassure them and make them feel like life will go on as normally as possible. It will also give you and your partner a chance to air out your disagreements and hurt feelings without involving your kids, which is crucial to helping them cope with the divorce in a healthy way. Out-of-court processes like mediation can help you and your partner figure out these details in a productive, safe environment. Key aspects that your kids may want to know include where they will live, who they will live with, what school they will go to, and what family holidays will look like.
In the case of a custody dispute between you and your spouse, consider appointing a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem will speak with your children about the divorce, where they want to live, how each parent behaves, etc. They will tell the court what they learn, and the court will use that information to decide on a custody arrangement. While it may be uncomfortable to have a stranger come to your home, this procedure may spare your child from having to appear in court and testify before a judge about those same things. Many guardians ad litem have experience working with children, so they will likely be able to provide a more comfortable environment for your kids than a courthouse.
If you have kids and are going through a divorce, an experienced family law attorney can help make the process easier on all of you. If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact Kirker|Davis today.