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Helping kids deal with divorce

While divorce is hard on anyone, it can be especially difficult for children to process. Kids usually see the instability and discontent that causes fighting even before the divorce is ever filed. They are often fearful of the process and sometimes feel alone because the parents are caught up in their own trauma. But families who are going through a Florida divorce can make the transition smoother by following a few simple suggestions.

First of all, it is important that the parents maintain communication outside of the child. Instead of using the child to relay messages back and forth, the parents need to know how to communicate themselves. The child needs the continued stability of seeing his or her parents working together to raise him or her.

A parent may also want to point out to the child that he or she is not alone. Having divorced parents is all too common now, but this can help the child deal with the situation. Show them that their friend, or a celebrity's child, or someone that they know had parents who divorced but that it all worked out okay for them. 

Kids also need consistency when it comes to rules. They should be allowed to maintain relationships with family members from both sides, even after the divorce. It is also vital that parents do not show jealousy of each other. The kid may seem to favor one parent today but tomorrow could act just the opposite.

Those who are considering a Florida divorce may choose to speak with a family law attorney who can advise them on the best steps to take for their children. An attorney can help the parent to decide how to proceed with seeking custody, child support and other issues. In most cases, children should not be privy to conversations and situations in which parents are fighting over them or possessions, and these issues should be settled by the parents or a court of law. 

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Ways to make divorce easier on kids", July 12, 2017

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