How to Make Divorce Easier on Children in Arizona
There is nothing easy about divorce. This is especially true when there are children involved. While we know that you want what is in the best interests of your children, we often see cases where parents get so caught up in battling each other that they do not realize how much their children are being affected.
Divorce can leave deep emotional scars on minor children. They often feel like they are the reason for the separation. Sometimes they display their emotional distress in an outward manner. Other times, they keep everything they are feeling on the inside. How a child gets through a divorce largely depends on how the parents react and communicate throughout the process.
Remember – all of those emotions you are feeling during the separation are being felt by your children as well, though they do not understand how to process those emotions.
Today, we want to go over some steps you can take to help your children, and yourself, through a separation.
Some Steps You Can Take
- It is not their fault and they need to know it. It may seem cliché, but have you sat your child down and told them they are not to blame? This should be the first thing you do when you tell your child you are separating from the other parent. If possible, both parents should take part in this initial conversation so that the child can see that both parents are still there for them and love them unconditionally.
- Keep a routine A divorce is already going to disrupt their lives so try to keep all of the same routines you had before. Did you usually get ice cream on Thursday’s after chorus practice? Then get ice cream on Thursday after chorus practice. Try to keep everything as close to the old routine as possible.
- Talk about what they are feeling, especially if you notice a change in mood. Children are resilient, but always be on the lookout for changes in mood. They may forget, especially at the beginning of a divorce process, that something is going on. However, when they remember, they can get depressed. Yes, children can suffer from depression, too. If necessary, consider finding a trained psychologist for them to talk to.
- Do not bash your ex when talking to them. You may not be able to stand your ex, but you need to remember that the other person is the mother/father of your child. They may not have treated you well, but that does not necessarily mean that they are a bad parent. Unless there is a valid reason not to (physical abuse, substance abuse, etc.), support your child’s relationship with the other parent.
- Get support for yourself so that you can support your children. You will go through a range of emotions during a divorce. You have to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Talk to someone if you are struggling, ensure you are eating right, and get some exercise. Your children depend on you.
Moving Forward From Here
By no means is this a complete list of things you can do to make divorce easier on your children. There are entire books out there on the subject. It is important, though, that you seek help from an Arizona family law attorney when going through a divorce. There is so much at stake in a separation, especially when minor children are involved. It is vital that issues of child custody and child support are taken care of in a fair manner that is in the best interested of the children involved.
Click here for information on whether a second job affects child support in Arizona.