Navigating A High-Conflict Divorce: What Do I Tell My Children?
If you are in the middle of a divorce case, the tension you feel when trying to communicate with your ex-spouse may be compounded by worry about the best way to explain the situation with your children.
At Meredith Clark Law, our founding attorney is a zealous advocate for the interests of children. She realizes that litigating family law matters can be draining and upsetting for every member of the family. There are ways to communicate with your children about your marriage dissolution that strengthen your relationship with them, while also protecting your case in court.
Keys To Talking To Children About Divorce
Here are several tips that can enhance your divorce-related conversations with your children:
- Be honest. Be open about what is happening and explain what that means for them.
- Make it clear they are not at fault. Smaller children may try to be “extra good” if they believe their “bad” behavior precipitated the breakup. Even older children often blame themselves for the divorce. Help your children understand that they are not the reason for the decision.
- Encourage them to express feelings appropriately. It is normal for them to have “big feelings” about the divorce. It is not OK to express those feelings in destructive or hurtful ways. Help them find ways to channel their feelings into a constructive activity.
- Minimize detail beyond what is necessary. All children should be aware of how their living situation and schedule with each parent might change, but mainly they need to know that each parent will be there for them, regardless of circumstance.
- Listen. It is easier to respond to your children’s cues if you can be quiet and hear what they are saying to you.
One Big NO:
Communicating To Your Spouse Through Your Children
Do not use your children to deliver messages to your spouse about child custody, scheduling or anything else. Your attorney, Meredith V. Clark, can work with you to facilitate communication with your ex and his or her lawyer if that is necessary. Using your children as messengers adds to their stress and can lead to serious misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
Let Us Be Your Proponent In The Courtroom And Beyond
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