At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles family law attorneys know that divorcing couples receive all types of advice when pursuing a divorce in California. No matter how it is presented, in response to a question or unsolicited, most people mean well and try to help.
Some are helpful. Some are not.
When spouses share children, they often prolong a marriage one, the other, or both no longer want to be in for the kids’ sake. Unfortunately, it is difficult to recognize — especially when you are the parents — that staying in an unhappy marriage may cause more harm because it may inevitably result in an unhealthy household for parents and their children.
While divorce may be the healthiest option, it is nonetheless devastating for children to learn of their parents’ separation. Here, we discuss why a straightforward approach is best when breaking news of divorce to a child.
Strategies for Discussing Your California Divorce with Children
Although you should avoid discussing divorce proceedings with your children, here are a few tips for addressing the general concept.
Keep the conversation on track and:
- Be clear and to the point.
No matter how old your children are, sharing marital details with your children is ill-advised.
Instead, choose a positive tone and calmly let them know what is happening, what it means, and how it will affect them.
- Be reassuring.
Be honest and transparent about each step of the process as the divorce moves forward, reassuring them they:
- Are not the reason the divorce is occurring.
- Are loved and essential to both spouses.
- Will now have two loving homes.
- Everyone will be much happier.
Successful communication goes both ways. Be receptive to your children’s emotions, as they will have them. Please pay attention to how they react, as their emotional reaction may not be immediate, and try to answer all their questions as they come.
- Be respectful toward your spouse.
Being supportive means never pointing fingers, placing blame, or badmouthing the other parent. This can only lead to the kids being confused, stressed, anxious, or distraught, which can last a lifetime if you are not careful.
- Maintain your and the kids’ daily routines.
Although it may feel like everything is changing, keeping the divorce from impacting the kids’ daily routines is crucial to their emotional well-being.
While every divorcing couple and family’s daily routine and dynamics are different, it is vital to maintain work, school, extracurricular activities, and family interaction routines. Everyone can benefit from maintaining a sense of normalcy during this challenging time.
- Provide support and share their concerns.
Make a plan with the other parent to ensure your children feel emotionally safe and secure by making yourselves available if and when they need to talk. If your unique personal relationship allows, share your findings with the other parent so everyone understands their concerns and can, at the very least, know about them or address them during their parenting time.
- Get legal assistance.
If you have questions about how your California divorce and child custody decisions will impact your kids and how you can help ensure they are getting the support and help they need, contact our team of skilled divorce attorneys in Los Angeles at the Land Legal Group by calling (310) 552-3500 today.