As most people know I am a family solicitor and I am passionate about my profession and helping my clients. The Labrums Solicitors team and I have put together the following advice. We hope anyone in this situation finds our advice helpful.
Divorce is never going to be easy for any of the parties involved - especially if children are part of the equation. Divorce is linked with a huge number of negative effects on children; not only the stress and anxiety of going through a period of severe change, but also a decline in exam results and even negative effects on health.
However, there are steps you can take that will ensure that the effects of your divorce on your children are minimised, making it easier for them to cope during a difficult point in their lives.
1. Break the news together
While it may be awkward, both parents should be present, if possible, when children are first told about the divorce. While your children will know that you no longer want to be together, a united front will reduce the risk of awkwardness and side-taking. Ensure, however, that you have decided what you are going to say in advance, to make the situation easier.
2. Put your children's needs first
This may be difficult, but your children need to know that they are loved equally by both parents, that these feelings will not change as a result of the divorce and - importantly - that the break-up is not their fault. Many children have a tendency to blame themselves; you need to reassure them that this is not the case.
3. Keep it civil
Even if your divorce is not an amicable split, criticism of and negativity towards your ex-partner in front of your children will make any problems worse. You should also avoid using your children as a conduit for contact with your ex-partner, and should avoid putting them on the spot by asking them for information about your ex-partner's new life.
4. Get into a routine
Ensure that your children know when they will be seeing each of you, and try to keep this regular so that they settle into a new routine as quickly as possible. Divorce is a time of huge upheaval, and it's up to you, as their parents, to minimise this as much as possible.
5. Attend important events together
While you may not wish to spend any more time with each other than necessary, think about how your child will feel if one of you isn't there for their first sports day, a school performance or any other important event in their lives. Your children need to know that you are always there for them, no matter your relationship with each other.
We hope you found this helpful, if we can be of assistance please feel free to get in touch with us on 01727 858807.