Caring for Children During a Divorce

Children are far more astute than many of us realise and they often recognise that there is a problem between their parents long before talks of divorce start. It is imperative when it comes to talk about divorce that you do the following:

  • Try not to argue too much in front of the children
  • Explain to them in whatever terms they understand that although mummy and daddy feel that they can no longer live together, they will still see as much as they want of both parents and mummy and daddy still love them the same.
  • Try to keep everything ticking over as normally as possible, even if there is only one of you there all the time try to stick to the same sort of routine as before. Routines are important to children as they know what to expect and this helps them to feel safe and secure.
  • Providing the relationship is not breaking up as a result of domestic violence where you have to deal with a whole load of other issues, try to ensure that your child or children see as much of the absent parent as possible.

Children are quite resilient and find it a lot easier to deal with change if they are kept informed in terms that they understand and know what to expect. If the other parent is living somewhere else then they may enjoy going to stay with that parent as they will feel that they have two homes. The older the children are the more difficult it can be going through a divorce. Older children have their own opinions and ideas and it can be more difficult to care for them during the divorce process than it is for younger children.

Whatever else you do during a divorce you should not moan and complain about your spouse when the children are around. While they need to understand that their parents have problems, the last thing they need is to be given a list of the other person’s faults and why you will all be better off without them. Children can mourn during a divorce because unless things are handled properly and with their welfare in mind, they can be faced with conflicting loyalties. You and your spouse need to agree together what you are and are not going to say and do in front of the children. You need to recognise that if you feel vulnerable during a divorce your children may feel even more vulnerable. Children should never be left to believe that mummy or daddy has gone to live somewhere else because they don’t love them any more.

Try to come to an agreement over finances and asset division. There is nothing worse for children than to hear their parents arguing over things every time they meet. Divorce is an unsettling time for all concerned but if you take a few precautions you should be able to limit the amount of emotional damage to your children.