Conflicts between married couples cause divorces. Disputes can be handled like adults and dealt with intelligently or lead to yelling and violence. Divorce is the resolution of these conflicts. There are steps you can take to shelter your children from your conflicts and divorce, leaving them as happy and healthy as possible.
Martine, Katz Scanlon & Schimmel, P.A. believes the best way to limit the pain associated with divorce is for clients to know their rights after separation and leading to divorce. We welcome the opportunity to guide you through the process and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Call us at (856) 396-9500 today to schedule a consultation.
Do Your Part to Get Your Children Through the Divorce
Divorce Magazine has several suggestions to help your children through the process, including:
- Communicate appropriately with your children. You need to talk to them on their level and explain things in a way they can understand. This may include breaking issues into pieces and discussing them over time, not all at once. Most importantly, communicate that whether you’re married or not, your children will always be loved and part of a family.
- Look for signs of trouble. Common signs children are having difficulty coping include increased sadness and crying, feeling worried or scared, withdrawal and less interest in activities, anger and arguing, or doing poorly in school. You need to step away from your own issues and be on the lookout for your child’s struggles so you can try to address them.
- Settle your differences. The fewer disputes between the parents, the less anger and stress should spill onto your children. Come up with as many resolutions as you can, even if they’re temporary, before your divorce is final. We are available to help you think of creative solutions before and after your divorce.
- Learn new skills. Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier or cheaper to learn new things. This can include how to better cope with divorce, improve communication skills, even learn new approaches to compromising with those who disagree with you. There are websites, publications, presentations, videos, podcasts, and online classes. If you need to get away, classes and support groups will be held in person once the pandemic loosens its grip. You may also learn how to be a better parent post-divorce.
- Keep your children out of the crossfire. Keep your children out of your disputes. If you don’t, it can cause severe problems for them and indirectly, for you. Your child may feel pressured to choose sides which can be one of the most damaging parts of parental conflict. Parental disagreements cause kids stress and suffering while low-conflict break-ups can leave them in much better shape. Conflicting parents are poor role models, inattentive, and inconsistent with discipline, which all cause children more stress. Avoid fighting and playing mind games because your children may copy your behavior. They may become aggressive and lose control of their emotions.
- Control your emotions. You will feel a range of emotions during your divorce. What’s not healthy is getting in a negative emotional rut. If you’re angry too much of the time, you may want revenge. Being sad for too long can lead to depression and self-blame. None of this is good for you or your children. There are so many great support systems for divorcing parents including support groups and therapists. Even just sorting out your thoughts and feelings in a journal or talking with a trusted friend can be very helpful.
- Prepare for long-term conflict. It will be great to finally get that divorce order, but your relationship with your ex will continue, especially if you have a high conflict divorce. There are support payments to be made and your children’s time will be split between you. This functions only as long as there’s some good faith between the two of you. Unresolved conflicts may exist and new conflicts may arise as your lives change. Develop a plan to shield your children from these disputes. Lay out a plan to resolve them away from your kids. It can include attorneys and mediation if you can not do it by yourselves.
- Children can cause conflict. Children of all ages struggle with divorce even if it is what is best for the family. It is critical that you as the parent help them develop healthy coping mechanisms and promote open communication. Serious behavior or emotional problems will add to your burdens when your children are not properly supported. If you have trouble handling these issues, conflicts will worsen, and you may blame each other. They may be caused by your divorce or something else, so it’s important to find the cause. Both parents need to agree on an appropriate way to approach the problem.
How Martine, Katz Scanlon & Schimmel, P.A., Can Help
We understand how stressful a divorce can be, especially when spouses have children. We will make the process as stress-free as possible and suggest practical solutions to the challenges you and your family face. If you live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey and are thinking about, or have decided to get, a divorce, call our office at (856) 396-9500 or fill out our online contact form today.