While a divorce is far from ideal for the spouses, as there will be the stress of property division, new living arrangements, custody, support, and a complete life change; as parents we tend to forget the biggest concern we ought to have when we divorce our spouse—the children. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle bustle of your split that you fail to address the very present needs (and fears) that you children may have. Here are three likely questions that your children will have, even if they never mention it to you. Take the time to sit down with the kids and have a heart to heart about the reality of the situation at hand. No matter how old they are, if they are able to comprehend that something changing, then they will do well to have you talk things over with them.
The first thing to address for them is why mom and dad are splitting. They will be extremely concerned with why their parents who once loved each other so much are calling it quits and leaving each other. They may want to know why marriages end in general, or specifically what will happen now that you are splitting. Sit down and discuss with them that even though mom and dad's feelings for each other have changed, it will never change the way the kids are loved by their parents. This is a vital time to reinforce you r love and support for the children, don't neglect this crucial season.
A second question they will be bothered with is whether or not the divorce is their fault. For some reason, many times the children will blame shift the divorce to something they did or did not do, and then make themselves bear the weight of you entire marriage crumbling. Make sure you tell them that the divorce was a decision made by mom and dad and that that in whatever situation the family may be in, your love for them is unending. Children need to be told in clear terms that the divorce is not at all their fault, if they feel this way it can lead to problems in the future for them.
The last question they will wonder is what their living situations will look like. Again, take the time to sit with them and clearly explain your plans for after the divorce, whether it is to have shared custody throughout the week or just summer and winter visits. If the children are old enough consider letting them give their input and preferences. Whatever you do as parents, attempt to keep the best interests of the children in focus at all times.
For more information regarding divorce matters and child custody, contact a Raleigh divorce lawyer at the Hopper Law Office, today!