Chase, Berenstein and Murray, Counselors at Law provides collaborative divorce solutions to clients in San Mateo, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties.

How to Safeguard Your Children from Emotional Turmoil In Divorce

It is of paramount importance that you take steps to protect your children from being negatively impacted during your divorce process.  Here are 4 things that you and your spouse should do to ensure a smoother transition for your children.

  • Keep the Divorce Amicable

First and foremost do all you can to have an amicable divorce. Working with your spouse to create an agreement that minimizes conflict is crucial to preserving your children’s well being. Seeking professional assistance through a Collaborative Divorce process or Mediation can provide a structured and supportive environment to amicably move through divorce..  A child specialist can meet with your children, allowing them to express their concerns and desires regarding the post-divorce world. This not only gives them a voice, but also helps you and your spouse to craft a parenting plan that addresses their unique needs, concerns, and desires.

  • Don’t Burden Your Children with Too Much Information

Another crucial aspect is not burdening your children with too much information. Avoid turning them into confidants, messengers, or a support network. Keeping communication lines open with your co-parent is essential. Strive for consistency in both households, especially when it comes to fundamental rules like bedtime and homework. This consistency provides children with a sense of security and confidence.

  • Keep the Atmosphere Positive

Maintaining a civil and positive atmosphere during your conversations with your co-parent, particularly when children are present, is key. Avoid using the children as messengers, and badmouthing your ex-spouse, even when you think your kids aren’t listening. Children are perceptive and may be eavesdropping to gain a sense of security in a time of uncertainty.

Allow your children to love and enjoy time with both parents independently. Refrain from grilling them about their experiences while with their other parent or attempting to gather intelligence about the other parent through them. However, encourage them to share positive experiences with both parents.  If the children tell you something concerning their time with the other parent, ask the other parent about it before making accusations or acting on the information.  Children will often tell a parent what they think they want to hear. They sometimes think telling you they had a good time will hurt your feelings.

  • Use Discretion with Friends and Family

Lastly, be mindful of conversations with family and friends, as children can pick up on negative sentiments. Avoid badmouthing your ex-spouse, and ask that they refrain from doing so also, as this can create confusion and insecurity for the children.

Divorce has the potential to have a significant negative impact on children.  By following the strategies above, and maintaining a child-centric approach, you can navigate the challenges of divorce more gracefully, fostering an environment that prioritizes the emotional well-being of your children. Remember, your actions during this challenging time can shape your children’s resilience and strength as they move forward in their lives.

Lisa R. Murray is an experienced Collaborative Divorce attorney and Mediator.  She can help you to determine the goals for your divorce and post-divorce life.  She can be reached at 650-297-0367.