Finalizing a divorce is often seen as the “final” step for couples choosing to part ways. However, when children are involved, that is not usually the case. While each family (and child) has different needs and circumstances, below are a few general tips that can help children adjust after divorce.
While the reality is that many things will change as a result of a divorce, keeping children’s routines as consistent as possible can help with adjustment.
- Emotional Support
Adjusting to having two (2) homes can be confusing for children, particularly if they are younger. Children also ask difficult questions during this time. It is often beneficial to remind them that they are loved and supported, even though things are different now.
Communication can help children adjust as well. Some children benefit from knowing in advance when they will be with dad and when they will be with mom. It can also help children adjust to know when they will see mom/dad again. This may be as simple as a “see you on Thursday after school” at a parenting time drop off.
Because children can easily pick up on conflict, it is a good idea to remain as civil to the other parent as possible. While each situation and person is unique, positive co-parenting can help children adjust to having two (2) homes.
As stated above, every situation and family is different and you should do what is in the best interests of your specific child(ren). If you are concerned that your child(ren) will have a particularly difficult time adjusting to the dynamics post-divorce, there are some provisions you can include in your divorce decree to help prepare for these issues. This may be a non-disparagement clause, a right of first refusal, a liberal communication provision, or another clause that addresses your concerns.