In 2020, there were at least 630505 recorded divorces in the U.S. Infidelity and irreconcilable differences are a few reasons usually cited by divorcees. Not only does a divorce take a toll on both parties involved, but also on the children. Their happiness and mental health usually take a hit. The guide offers four parenting tips to help children cope if their parents are getting a divorce.
Prepare the Kids
Mentally preparing the kids for a looming divorce will have a less psychological impact. This is compared to if they were caught unaware. Separation disrupts the lives of all people involved. Before the divorce, talk to the kids about expected changes. These include family structure and housing arrangements. After divorce, three-fourths of children end up living with their mother. Yet some children end up separated to live with both parents.
When breaking the news of divorce, avoid the blame game and oversharing. This is crucial to maintain a great relationship with the parents and future partners. If another person is involved, now is not the time to introduce them. Rather, do this later once the kids have come to terms with the divorce.
Naturally, the children will have many questions. When answering these, avoid oversharing. Only feed them information that is appropriate for their age. Children usually feel guilty when their parents separate. Reassuring them that it is not their fault will relieve them.
Civil co-parenting is in the best interest of your children. Keep in mind that parental responsibility remains even if you are divorced. If your relationship takes a hit, solve your conflicts away from the kids. This promotes a stable and loving environment so they may thrive. Parents that get along well after a divorce impose the least mental anguish on their children.
Avoid talking to them about your marital woes to avoid the children picking sides. Even if you are not on the best of terms as partners, you agree that your problems are secondary to the well-being of children. Bear in mind that your conflict is secondary to good parenting.
Custody arrangements affect children’s upbringing based on the impact of the custodian on the child. Therefore, choosing a parenting plan that will benefit the kids is best. Custody options include physical and legal. These can be sole or joint. The latter involves shared time of children between both parents. It calls for constant communication. E-mail and text messaging are great if the ex-spouses are not agreeable. Alternatively, use a co-parenting communication platform.
Discuss the pain points involved and come up with a solution that is customized for your family. However, if you need help, consult a professional co-parenting counselor. They will help you figure out how to go about it. You can ask around for one or consult the internet. Around the world, almost 1.8 billion websites are running concurrently daily.
Fulfill Your Financial Responsibility
Parenthood comes with a financial obligation. In the U.S., raising a child till they become of legal age costs nearly $200,000. Yet, this figure exempts college expenses. After a divorce, one parent may be tempted to burn bridges. If you do so, nobody wins, including the children. Paying child support affords your children a fair shot at a healthy upbringing. On average, only 70% of child support obligations were fulfilled by custodial parents, either fully or partially. This is true according to a 2017 study conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. There are legal implications of not paying court-ordered child support. They depend on the jurisdiction and include:
- Jail time
- Lost right to obtain a passport
- Wage garnishment
- Tax refunds are diverted to the parent to whom it is owed
Spouses displaying conflict during divorce will negatively affect their parenting relationship. Rather, they find a way to get along for the welfare of the children. Parents have a financial responsibility to their children. Failing to pay child support has dire consequences.
If you are going through a divorce with children, keep these tips in mind. Going through a divorce is hard, but it is much harder on kids. By following these tips, you can make this situation easier on them.