How to Navigate Divorce When You Have Children

When a relationship ends there is always heartbreak. Even if the split is amicable there is still the loss of your relationship and the time you spent together. The feeling of failure after a relationship ends is natural, but it is something you are going to need to overcome quickly when you have children to think about.

As soon as there are kids in the picture you have to accept that, together or not, your partner is going to be in your life for your entire life. You don’t have to stay together for the sake of the kids, but you do need to work together for the sake of the kids. That is why, instead of letting your anger and frustration out on each other, you need to follow this guide to navigate your divorce productively.

When Divorce is Better for Kids Than Staying Together

If you being together with your spouse means ongoing arguments, belittling, anger, hatred, shouting and the like, then staying together is not better for the kids. If you two can be happier and more loving apart than you ever could together then splitting up is the best decision for your whole family. The only difference is that you need to put your kids first in all things. Once you can do that you can raise them better apart than you ever did together.

How to Navigate Your Divorce

· Start with a Small Separation

Big, sudden changes are very traumatizing to kids – especially if they are little. To ease them into it start with a trial separation. This can easily be done if one of your parent’s lives nearby. Stay with them over the weekends and move back home during the week to start building your life as a single person. Extend this until you and your kids are finally ready for one of you to have a separate apartment.

· Bring in Legal Counsel ASAP

During this separation period you will want to start the divorce process by hiring an experienced family law attorney. You will want to make use of their mediation and dispute services throughout your divorce to keep everything calm. Attempting to detangle your lives on your own can and often leads to resentment and anger that often spills over to your children.

· Build A New, Consistent Routine for Kids

The most important thing that your kids need to know is that you love them and will continue to care for them. To do this simply build a new routine for them to follow. Try to include activities alone and together to help your kids ease into your separation.

· Go to Couple’s Therapy

You aren’t going to couple’s therapy to get back together, you are going so that you can learn how to be great co-parents. Though your kids might be confused why you won’t get back together if you start to get along, it is far better to get along as co-parents than to fight all the time.

· Be Open and Honest with Your Kids

Last but not least, be honest with your kids. If you don’t actively tell them that you are splitting up they will forever be confused about what is happening. Keep them up to date on what you are doing so that they can feel like they have control in the situation.

Thanks to Zaklina

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