How to help your child go through divorce


How to help your child go through divorce

May 30, 2016

Written by: @GabDiesendorf

Going through a divorce is a stressful process as well as an unfortunate event in life for both the parents and their children. While struggling with their own emotions, parents have to think about their kids and provide them with the least amount of worrying possible. This can be difficult sometimes, especially if both parties are not in agreement for a divorce. Still, getting one’s life and priorities in order is essential when children are involved.


Divorce process

Getting divorced in Canada, and any other place actually, has to start with gathering all the necessary documents that are required for legal separation. There are ‘no-fault’ and ‘fault’ divorces. The first one implies that there is no obvious reason for a divorce and requires a separation of 1 year first. With uncontested divorce the process can go smoothly even without hiring a lawyer while contested divorces take longer since there are many things that need to be discussed (division of assets, child custody, etc.). Each province in Canada has different fees and formalities when it comes to divorce which is why it is wise to get a lawyer’s help. The differences are present in US countries as well. For those wondering how to file for divorce in Oregon, the basics are the same, but there is no such thing as ‘no-fault’. Every reason for a divorce is valid. Couples can also get mediators for free that can help them reach an agreement outside of court. When it comes to filing for divorce in California, besides complete dissolution and legal separation, couples can also get their marriage annulled. The real process begins once the spouse is served with the documents for a divorce.

Give unconditional love to your child

It does not matter what kind of reason you might have for getting divorced, as long as the spouse was not abusive in any way, and you acknowledge them as a good parent, get past your own differences when you are with your child. Kids have to know that they are loved by both parents and that this will not change. If you act like perfectly fine parents that you are when you are together and separated, kids are less likely to experience divorce as a traumatic self-blaming experience.

Be open with your child

Hiding the facts will only come as a bigger shock later on. Therefore, treat your child as a person who can rationally understand the situation, even though that may not be the case, and explain everything calmly. It would be best that both parents talk about the situation as something perfectly normal that sometimes happen, even if that means hiding some of the emotions in front of your kids. In this situation, children need to see that you are fine and do not see divorce as an obstacle to stay loving parents and functional adults.

Let your child be sad

Even if you explain the situation to your child perfectly together with your spouse, kids will always feel sadness and disappointment. This is something they have to go through in order to accept the changes so allow your child to be sad. They do not need to be reprimanded for their emotions while they are anxious. Also, allow your kids to talk to other people. Divorce is nothing to be ashamed of and getting insight from others outside the family can mean a significant help.

When enough time has passed, children will understand why having their mom and dad divorced might be better than having them living together unhappily. But in order for a child to realize this, parents have to share the same beliefs.

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