Are you planning to get a divorce, and do you have minor children? If so, you are likely worried about how your and your spouse's decision may affect your children. Children are impacted by divorce in different ways. The following are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to tell your children.
Carefully consider the way you will tell your children about the divorce. It is not wise to blurt it out or tell them at a time when you nor your spouse has time to answer any potential questions that might arise. You need to consider if you want to tell them together or separately. If tension is high between you and your estranged spouse, it might be a challenge to tell them together because even if you both agree not to argue, one of you might say the "wrong thing," resulting in an argument. Your love for your children may have you both thinking that you want to tell them together, but you may need to consider including another trusted adult such as a friend or pastor in your plans to ensure that a heated argument does not occur. Some parents choose to speak with their children separately about divorce plans because they do not want to risk an argument in front of their children.
Your children might need counseling after they are told about the divorce. Some children are more hurt by this type of announcement, and they might need to have one-on-one counseling as well as any family counseling sessions you intend to have. If you and your estranged spouse are in agreement, family counseling sessions can be used to transition your family into the new family arrangements. You may find that the divorce causes deep emotional issues that last for months. This is why it is wise to ensure that your divorce lawyer is aware of any signs of emotional turmoil your children experience during the divorce process. It may be possible for them to get the court to enter counseling requirements and the responsible payee information in the divorce decree. It also a good idea to inform the school(s) your children attend about the divorce. There may be some intervention services they can offer to your children. It will also enable them to be able to understand any changes in behavior. For example, a child that starts exhibiting behavior problems during a divorce might be acting out due to emotional issues.
For more information about working through divorce, contact a firm like Lynn Jackson Shultz & Lebrun PC.