Tag Archives: affect of divorce on children

Illinois family lawyerDivorce can be difficult for children. Living in two households, watching parents date and remarry, and getting introduced to step-siblings and half-siblings are several of the many changes divorce can bring to your children’s lives.

Fortunately, there are ways you can help your children live a high quality of life despite any changes your divorce may bring. You can start by making an effort to avoid the following 4 common parenting mistakes during divorce:

1. Forcing Your Children to Be Messengers

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Illinois divorce lawyerThe end of a relationship is difficult for everyone involved, but when parents end their marriage in divorce, children are often the ones who have the hardest time. Divorce will bring a great deal of upheaval to their lives as they adjust to new schedules, split their lives between two households, and try to understand changing relationships between family members.

As you work to provide the best possible environment for your children following your divorce, you will want to be sure you are considering their needs and providing them with love and support. Here are some valuable tips for helping your children get through this difficult time:

  • Be honest - Children are sure to have a lot of questions about why you and your spouse divorced, and you should try to answer their questions honestly while keeping your answers age-appropriate. Encourage them to discuss their feelings about the divorce with you and let them know that it is okay to feel sad or angry.
  • Offer reassurance - Children often worry that they may have been the cause of the divorce, so it is important to reassure them that your divorce was not their fault in any way while helping them understand that you will always love them and be there for them.
  • Provide consistency - It is important for children to have a regular routine in their daily lives. Reliably following your parenting time schedule and sticking to a consistent plan for bed times and mealtimes will give them the stability they need.
  • Provide them with quality time - Make the most of the time you spend with your children and be involved in their lives. Encourage them to share their interests with you and offer them love and support.
  • Cooperate with your ex-spouse - You and your former partner share the goal of raising your children in a loving, positive environment, so it is best to try to be flexible and accommodating to each other’s needs. If your work schedule or your children’s schedules for school and activities change, work together with the other parent to modify pickup and drop-off times as needed.

Never involve children in conflicts - You are likely to have disagreements with your ex-spouse, but you should do your best to keep your kids from being caught in the middle. Do not send messages to your ex-spouse through your children, and avoid disparaging your ex-spouse in your kids’ presence.

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Ilinois divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorneyResearch has proven that divorce can be a very traumatic time in a child’s life, no matter their age. Different age ranges can produce varying ramifications and for the parents, it is imperative to continually monitor and minimize the level of emotional turmoil experienced by their children. What are the top 10 issues facing a child experiencing his or her parent's divorce?

1. This is Not Your Child’s Divorce   

As adults, the separating spouses should respect that even with one parent out of the picture, the child views the situation as that is my mother and that is my father. This dynamic should be respected, accepted and addressed.

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Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorneyWith study after study highlighting the negative and possible long-lasting effects of divorce on a child, some parents may feel compelled to avoid seeking the services of a qualified divorce attorney for as long as possible.  Although one parent or even both are confident that the marriage no longer meets their personal expectations, haunting questions on how the divorce may affect their child arise. Will the child suffer academically, discover new-found behavioral issues or turn to substance abuse as a way to cope with the breakdown of the nuclear family?

Wendy Paris, contributor to Psychology Today and author of "Splitopia: Dispatches from Today’s Good Divorce" and "How to Part Well," draws not only on personal experience but several research studies to address these underlying questions. Paris, who knew that she could no longer stay in her marriage sought out researchers, clinicians, divorced couples and even adult children of divorce to solidify that she could raise a happy and healthy child following divorce. 

Paris concluded that our adult preconceived notions of raising a child in a traditional family is the only way to raise a well-adjusted child could not be further from the truth. 

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