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Giving children the best chance at coping with a divorce

Divorce is rarely a seamless process that leaves all parties with a perfectly cured outcome. In fact, for many divorcing couples in Florida, the process is dotted with difficult decisions, compromises, negotiations and sacrifice. More often than not, each party is required to give and take to identify amicable solutions that are able to at least partially benefit everyone involved. 

For couples who have had children together, this already complicated process becomes increasingly difficult as parents are required to deal sensitively with the needs of their children as they try to help them understand the changes that are happening. As parents begin the process of separating, they can help their children to cope by doing their best to arrange a parenting agreement where both parties can work together to raise their children. This method, co-parenting, allows children to spend quality time with each parent and have a chance to continue developing critical relationships with both mom and dad.

Parents should also be careful about the way they speak about the other person in front of their children. They should never speak ill about the other parent or criticize his or her way of parenting. These discussions should be saved for moments when their children are not present. Parents should never argue over their children or create contention where the child ends up in the middle of a disagreement. Parents should acknowledge that they will need to compromise and give the other parent the benefit of the doubt to maintain civility and keep relationships healthy and free of tension that could hurt their child emotionally.

If a couple is pursuing a divorce, they may benefit from the professional assistance of an attorney. This decision may enable them to receive critical guidance through a process that is often difficult and confusing from a legal standpoint. 

Source: Psychology Today, "January Is Divorce Month: A Guide for Parents to Help Kids,"  Azmaira H. Maker, Jan. 23, 2018

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