Last week, KSL ran a story titled “Talking to children about divorce.” The story included several tips we consider to be great for all parents going through a divorce or other family law related matter involving children. Many parents ask us questions related to when and how they should speak with their children about a pending divorce. We have summarized the article below and hope to bring other legal incites to the issues.
Being honest with your children is best. This doesn’t necessarily mean you divulge all the issues in the divorce, most of the time that would not be healthy for your kids. For instance, if one parent is at fault for an affair, you probably do not want to disclose that information to the children. However, being honest about the fact that you are divorcing is key. Your children need to trust you so don’t pretend you are nor divorcing. Also do not avoid the conversation, be upfront and honest.
Children’s Interests Come First
Both parents in a divorce need to place the children’s best interests ahead of everything else. If parents keep this in mind than there should be less conflict regarding custody and other child related issues. Less conflict is always going to be better for the kids. Do not demand a certain custody arrangement unless you have thought through how your children will be impacted and whether or not it is actually the best situation for them. Children’s feelings matter and part of speaking with the children is listening to their desires.
Understand the Kid’s Fears
Divorce is a frightening time in a child’s life, it is one of the most disruptive things they can go through. Speak to them about their fears and help alleviate them. This can go a long way to getting children comfortable with change. Often kids fears are completely unsubstantiated but unless you ask them about what they are worried about, you will never know and never be able to help.
No Disparaging the Other Parent
One of the proven worst things a parent can do to a child in a divorce is to disparage the other parent. You have to keep in mind that your child loves both you and your ex spouse. You should never speak ill of the other parent. In fact, you should speak positively and promote the relationship with the other parent regardless of your feelings towards that person. Avoid getting your child wrapped up in the middle. They should never feel like they have to pick between one parent or the other.
If there is one tip we can give on these issues it is to really step back and try and look at this through your children’s eyes. If you can put aside your feelings and really understand where your children are coming from, it should help you make positive decisions for them and keep them safe and happy. For more information or to speak with a Utah Divorce Attorney at Salcido Law Firm, call us today.