Going through a divorce is difficult, but it can be even more challenging when you and your ex-spouse share children. Before the divorce, you all lived under one roof and spent every day together. After divorce, your children now have set time to spend with each of you. You may have trouble adjusting to this new dynamic of your parent-child relationship, and that’s okay. However, it’s important to remember that you can still have a strong relationship with your children after divorce.
How Divorce Affects Kids
The first step to ensuring you maintain a strong bond with your children after divorce is understanding how they may be processing the recent events. While each kid will experience different emotions, here are some general things that children of divorce feel.
- Confusion: if you have young children, they may not understand the concept of marriage - let alone divorce. All they may know is that you and their other parent were together at one time, and now you aren’t.
- Guilt: some kids internalize the divorce and take on guilt for the end of their parents’ marriage.
- Anger: older children may process the divorce and determine it was one parent’s fault more than the other’s. While this may or may not be true, it can cause damage to the parent-child relationship.
- Sadness: as you are probably feeling sad about the change, your children likely are too. Watch for signs of depression in your children.
If you notice your children experiencing any of these negative psychological effects of divorce, make sure to speak with them. It may also be beneficial to pre-emptively sign them up for counseling so a neutral third-party can help them work through the divorce. Either way, taking steps to show that you are actively caring about their well-being will help you maintain your relationship throughout the changes of divorce.
Making The Most of Your Parenting Time
When you share custody with your ex, you only have about half of the time with your children that you used to. While you will likely enjoy some of the independence that this allows, it may also give you some new stressors. You may be worried about how to make sure your relationship with your children stays the same even though you are seeing them less. The team at Newman & Allen has put together some list of tips for this situation that can help you ease your worries.
- Utilize technology: it’s easier than ever before to communicate when you’re not physically together. Make an effort to text or call daily. You may also choose to use Facetime or Zoom for longer conversations.
- Make plans: if you’re not naturally a planner, this might be hard to get into the habit of. However, try to make plans for fun things you and your children can do while you’re together. This will help you bond and make memories.
- Stay positive: one of the biggest mistakes you can make is talking poorly about your child’s other parent in front of them, or trying to affect their separate relationship. This can quickly backfire and cause your child to resent you. Instead, show respect for the relationship they share with their other parent.
- Listen: some kids may not want to discuss their feelings, but some do. If your child comes to you to discuss how they are handling the divorce, be a good listener. Make sure they feel safe coming to you and validate their emotions.
Child Custody and Divorce
Your parent-child relationship is one of the most important things in your life. At Newman & Allen, we understand this and want to make sure that it stays strong during and after your divorce. Our team will advocate for you and your children throughout the divorce and child custody discussions, ensuring that the final arrangement is in everyone’s best interests. To begin, contact our Rancho Cucamonga family law attorneys today using our online form, or call our office at (909) 328-6101.