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Family Law

Advice on How to talk to your Child/Children During Divorce Proceedings

At Rosewood Solicitors we are aware that divorce proceedings can be a difficult time for both parties and even more so when children are involved.  It is therefore important for parents to act reasonably and be aware of their children’s emotions and feelings.

Although we appreciate that not all divorce proceedings can be amicable we have come up with some advice for parents on how to talk with their children and tips on how to keep any future disputes to a minimum during this complex time.

  1. Be as honest as possible with your children about your current marital situation.  Both parents should talk openly about their divorce and listen to what their children have to say as this will help them to understand what it going on in their current surroundings and will enable you have a better idea about their current needs. 
  2. Be understanding and open.  Your children will not want to pick sides and to ask them to do so would be unfair but be prepared to accept that your children will not necessarily side with you throughout the proceedings and respect their views about this.  Ultimately, you want to achieve a happy family environment for them and clashing with them over their own views will not help to resolve the problem.
  3. Try to avoid having arguments in front of your children.  Although we appreciate that this is easier said than done, it will be beneficial for them in the long run.  No child wants to hear either parent criticise the other.
  4. Be aware of your children’s emotional needs.  You may have to become more flexible in your social arrangements to ensure that you maintain key family time.
  5. Keep in mind that the children will have to get used to living in two separate households and that your views on house rules may differ from your ex-spouse.  Respect your partner’s house rules but ensure that your children are aware of what to expect when they live with you.
  6. Accept that your children will miss the other parent and may not want to stay with you.  Even though this scenario can be difficult for most parents to accept, contact with the other parent should be encouraged after all you are going through the separation, not your children.
  7. Both parents should write down the date and amount of time that each has access to the children.  Although this can appear to be a hindrance a chronological diary of who has contact can help minimise any confusion concerning future contact problems.
  8. Try to settle outside of court.  Any negotiation that you can do away from court will not only benefit you financially but will also help your family avoid the harshness of court proceedings.  Although negotiation and discussion can still be demanding you will appreciate not putting your children through the stressful and often long process of court proceedings.
  9. AND FINALLY Remember that regardless of your divorce proceedings you are parents and you will both be needed by your children.  So, if all else fails try to act with the best intentions for your children, tell them that you both love them and allow them to express their feelings.

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