How to Interact with Your Children During Your Divorce
As a parent going through a divorce in New York, all eyes tend to be on you. Your soon-to-be-ex, the judge, the guardian ad litem, and other key parties will all be paying close attention to how you interact with your children. They’ll be looking for signs of child abuse or domestic violence, and will be evaluating the impact of your home environment on your children’s wellbeing.
Here are some simple guidelines on how to interact with your children during a divorce to ensure you get the best outcome and how to get experienced legal help during this difficult chapter in your life.
Spend Quality Time with Your Children During Your Divorce
First and foremost, your children want you to know that even though you and their other parent weren’t able to make it work between the two of you, you still love them and cherish your relationship together. Make it a priority to spend quality time with your children engaging in fun activities that help keep their minds off what’s going on in the background.
Attend their school or sporting events to cheer them on, go to birthday parties, get involved in the classroom, and take them to various activities that allow you to join too. It’s important to show the court that you’re committed to enriching the lives of your children, but even more critical to show your children that your time, effort, and love are freely available to them.
Avoid Tense or Upsetting Situations
When your children are with you, do what you can to avoid involving them in tense or upsetting situations. This includes arguing with your ex in front of them or yelling at them when they’ve done something wrong. Now is the time for gentle parenting techniques and to make an active effort to protect the emotional health and wellbeing of your kids.
Talk to Your Children During Your Divorce
It’s important to communicate with your children about what is going on in the family in an age-appropriate way. It’s difficult, but you must learn how to walk the fine line between giving your kids enough information to quell their curiosity and divulging so much that they begin to feel burdened by the matter and responsible for its outcome. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Don’t Offer Details
It’s not necessary to divulge the details of the divorce to your children, even if they are old enough to understand what happened between you and their other parent. Avoid conversations about “whose fault it is” or “he said, she said” discussions. This accomplishes very little to help your child process the reason for the divorce and what life will be like in the future, but can cause them to become confused and unsure of their emotions.
Don’t Get Too Emotional
There’s nothing wrong with showing emotion when discussing divorce with your children. It’s an emotional situation, after all. What you want to avoid is “venting” to your child or using them as an emotional crutch to help you process your own feelings about the divorce. Emotional support is important for you too, however, a close friend or an experienced family or divorce counselor are much better resources than your children.
Direct the Conversation to Your Child’s Experience
Once you’ve let your child know that you’re getting a divorce and have given them an appropriate amount of information, direct the topic of conversation to your child’s experience. Let them know it’s okay to ask questions and that you will answer them as best you can. Make sure they understand that their experience is important to you and you’re there anytime they need support.
Consult with a Long Island Divorce Lawyer Who Has Child Custody Experience
You also need good support during your divorce, but your child isn’t a good place to get it no matter how old they are. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the difficult process of dissolving your marriage while directing you to supportive resources.
Contact Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today to learn more about your divorce options. Book an appointment for your initial consultation by calling 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form below. We are available now to take your call and look forward to working with you to resolve your divorce and move forward with the best possible outcome.
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