Divorce and Your Children
If you are divorcing someone you share children with, you probably have one question at the top of your mind: Will my children get through the divorce?
The short answer is, your children will be okay.
The long answer is another story altogether. Experts have studied the effects of divorce on children in addition to the overwhelming effects you experience. The truth is, divorce impacts children more than many realize. This article will help you understand how to minimize the impact on your kids when going through a San Antonio divorce.
The Effects of Divorce on Children
Your top priority is taking care of your children. Even after filing for a Texas divorce, you can still raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children!
There are a few common negative effects that divorce can have on kids. Especially if your own parents are still married, it’s important to understand what they might be going through so that you can help them with it.
The first is anxiety. Your children’s life is changing dramatically, and they have no control over it. This is a scary situation, and kids often don’t fully understand it and don’t even know what questions to ask to help themselves understand. Make sure you keep this in mind and are proactively talking to your kids about what’s going on.
Another is sadness. The end of a parents’ marriage can bring on intense grief. Your child is grieving the loss of the family that they’ve known their entire life. No matter how you feel about your spouse, remember that that’s their other parent and they love them wholeheartedly.
Finally, your child can become very stressed. They might blame themselves, especially if they’ve seen their parents fighting about them. They might try to repair the marriage themselves. Or, they might become stressed about where they will live, or create worst-case scenarios based on things happening in their friends’ lives. Remember to stay open and reassuring with your kids.
Long term, children of divorce can be more likely to have depression, substance abuse issues, and eventually to get a divorce themselves.
Keeping in mind the potential negative impacts on your kids, there are a lot of things that you can do to mitigate them. Keep a few things in mind.
You’re a Superhero to Your Children, Even During Divorce
Kids, especially young children, think that their parents are superheroes. Mom and Dad can handle any challenge, solve any problem, and take on any villain. A divorce can shatter this illusion, and seeing you struggle can be especially difficult for them.
With young children, try to make the divorce process seem as simple and easy to them as you can. Avoid fighting with your spouse in front of them. Common things such as going back and forth from separating to getting back together can confuse them. It also makes it seem like the relationship is a challenge you can’t handle. Turn to your other family and friends for emotional support, not to your child.
You’re Still a Team
No matter what happens, your former spouse is still their other parent. Unless abuse was involved, you should do everything you can to support that relationship. Remember, it’s in the child’s best interest to have multiple caring adults in their lives.
It’s also good for children if both of their parents can agree on rules and expectations. If curfew is the same at both houses, rules for screen time are the same, and they know they can’t skirt Dad’s rules by going to Mom’s house, they’ll be able to adjust more easily.
Finally, keep in mind that your former spouse’s future partner will also play a major role in your child’s life. If you’re able to have a positive, or at least civil, relationship with this person, it can make a big difference for your kid’s future. The more caring adults they have in their lives, the better.
They Love You Both
If you are getting a divorce, you probably have pretty strong negative feelings towards your spouse. Don’t share those with your child. Remember, no matter what, that’s their parent.
Try to only talk about their other parent in positive or neutral ways, don’t use your child as a bargaining chip with your spouse or try to gain your kid’s favor by talking bad about their other parent. You will always both be their family, whether they’re walking across the stage at kindergarten graduation or walking down the aisle at their own wedding.
The legal aspects of a Texas divorce can feel overwhelming, and it can be hard to take the time to focus on the challenging emotional issues. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a talented lawyer, like one from our firm. An experienced lawyer can handle the legal requirements so that you can focus on getting your family through this difficult time.
Are you looking into getting a divorce in San Antonio, TX or the surrounding areas? Professional assistance can help limit the negative effects of divorce on children.
Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation, so that you can focus on who matters most: your kids.