teenaged girl in her parents car listening to headphones with a sad expression on her face. this image is being used to express how kids feelings can change during divorce and that working with ogborne law, phoenix collaborative divorce attorney, can help you communicate better with your kids during divorce.
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

Dealing with Kids’ Feelings during Divorce

You’re getting a divorce for a reason and even in the best of circumstances it can become contentious.

While you’re working with your soon-to-be-ex on distribution of assets and debt, keeping the children as your central focus is the most important thing. Don’t forget to parent them through this time.

Often parents feel guilty about the divorce. They have a need to shower children with gifts to make up for time not spent with them but that’s probably not in either of your best interests. Instead of giving gifts, give them yourself.

Spend as much time with them as you can and assure them your love for them will not change. They need you now more than ever.

Children will feel like their lives have been turned upside down and rightly so.

If possible keep their schedule the same as it was pre-divorce. The stability of staying at the same school with the same friends and activities will help them transition to living separately with each parent.

There are situations when this isn’t possible.

While you don’t want to share adult topics about the divorce with children of any age, it’s important that they understand the change that’s happening in their lives.

Communicate news like your new job, moving, going to a new school, and the visitation schedule.

Not keeping them in the loop on how your divorce is impacting their day-to-day lives will confuse them. To counter their confusion, they may act out. Anything you can do to make them feel comfortable will help them in the long run.

Your job as a parent is to protect your children.

Seek assistance if you and your ex cannot communicate about the kids (or anything else divorce related) without it becoming tense or physical. The children have likely seen enough of both of you fighting to last a lifetime. Now they need to know the plan for their future even if that future is in two different homes.

It may be tempting to talk negatively about the other parent or to use the children to get or give the other parent information but don’t do it. You’re just putting your kids in the middle of an adult situation.

While your marriage may not have worked out, that person is your child’s other parent. And your children love them. Your bad mouthing will likely work against you.

Choose instead to support and love your children as you go through this stressful time in your lives. Your kids will thank you for it later.