Divorce is such a uniquely emotional experience that it can be difficult to give guidance for how to navigate it in generalities. The last year and a half have been difficult for many couples and families, and the stress of such a stark change in life can push any relationship to the brink. Divorce can be especially difficult for minor children who still live in the home and rely on their parents for stability and nurturing. It’s important for parents to try and shield their children from the strain and emotional turbulence of a divorce.
Limit Your Child’s Exposure to Hostility and Anger
One of the biggest obstacles to a healthy home for children during a divorce is the failing relationship between the parents. Whatever caused the marriage to fail, it’s an issue between the couple. Quite often, there’s hostility and anger felt by one or both parties in a divorce, and children can become unintended fodder for the disagreements between the divorcing couple. Being triangulated between feuding parents can leave children confused and emotionally raw. They can become withdrawn or angry without knowing why. Couples who intend to co-parent their minor children should begin early developing healthy boundaries.
Dial Down the Stress Levels in the Home
Stress is the manifestation of worry or concern about a problem that is real or perceived. When people are exposed to long periods of elevated and persistent stress, it can be bad for the health of everyone in a household burdened with the stress of divorce. Divorce is one of the most stressful events that anyone could live through, so it’s not surprising that reducing the amount of stress in a household would be good for not only the children in a home but also the divorcing adults.
Choose your method of divorce carefully
Not all divorce methods are created equally. If you are worried about how the process is impacting you and your spouse’s relationships with your children, then it’s worth considering a calmer, less adversarial divorce approach.
There are two increasingly popular forms of alternative divorce strategies you can explore:
- Mediation: Couples work with a mediator to negotiate the terms of the divorce. The mediator is the central figure leading the formation of the agreement, so this method doesn’t work if spouses don’t have a working relationship or are non-communicative. Mediation divorces are a better option for families seeking an amicable and less argumentative resolution to their breakup.
- Collaborative Divorce: Collaborative divorce may be better suited for couples who aren’t on the best terms but want to work together as much as possible to reduce the stress and contention of a litigated divorce. Collaborative divorces involve separate attorneys representing each party, and the lawyers work together to create a settlement acting on behalf of their clients. Collaborative divorce is also a great alternative to traditional divorce proceedings, but it can be completely
Create a Sameness Cocoon
One of the reasons divorce is often difficult for children is because of the loss of security and sameness. Children thrive in routines because regularity makes them feel there are things they can predict. Having their routines change, their access to their parents decreased, and possibly living in an unfamiliar environment all add up to a tremendous amount of stress for most children.
If either parent has started creating a new romantic relationship, that additional stress could be difficult for children to process. Parents can help their children overcome these emotional obstacles and find sure footing by creating a cocoon of sameness. If Mondays are always pizza night, try to keep that the same regardless of who oversees dinner. If the weekends have been about sports obligations as a family, try to keep as many of the silos of your child’s life the same or as close to it as possible.
Personalized Divorce Legal Services
At Beatriz Zyne Law Office, we provide guidance and legal representation for families beginning the divorce process. If you and your estranged spouse are ready to move forward with a divorce that puts your children first, we can help you with your case. Call us now at (305) 876-6138 to schedule a consultation.