Deciding to divorce is one of the most challenging decisions anyone can face. Many parents considering a divorce often allow emotional challenges and the fear of the unknown to get in the way of what is best for themselves and their children. While the process may not be pain free, with the right information and the proper guidance, the divorce process can lead to a better tomorrow for everyone involved.
For those considering taking the next step, here are a few tips, courtesy of family law attorney, Arielle Capuano, with Levinson & Capuano, LLC, to help protect your children as you enter into the divorce process.
1. Keep Things Stable at Home. Establish routines and schedules for homework, meals, bedtime, and chores. Exposure to supportive family members and friends will help the children maintain a sense of normalcy and unity.
2. Put your Children’s Needs First. Make sure that the basic and emotional needs of your children are met. Use the love you have for your children to counterbalance any disrespect, anger, or distrust you may feel toward your spouse.
3. …But Don’t Neglect your Own Needs. You can’t be there for your children if you’re sick, so make sure to stay physically and emotionally healthy. Get support from family, friends, or a therapist.
4. Work Hard at Communicating. Whether by phone, text, or e-mail, communicate and coordinate regularly about the children and maintain a unified front whenever possible. Don’t put the children in the middle or use them as a vehicle for communication.
5. Stay Informed. Know where your children are at all times. Learn about their friends, teachers, doctors, and favorite things. By staying informed, you can better protect your children from the dangers of abuse, neglect, substance abuse, and other damaging circumstances.
6. Have Family Talks. Consider teaming up with your spouse to tell your children about the divorce and upcoming changes. Plan this discussion ahead of time. Research how the developmental stages of your children affect the way they cope. Seek the advice and counsel of a licensed therapist when necessary or helpful.
7. Keep your Kids Busy. Involve your children in sports and activities they enjoy. If possible, both parents should attend practices, games, recitals and other events together to show support and solidarity. Make sure your kids complete their homework assignments, read recreationally, and maintain active social lives with their friends.
8. Prepare for the Road Ahead. Throughout the divorce process, the decisions you make and the things you say can greatly impact your children and your relationship with them going forward. Despite how you may feel now, you will be co-parenting with your spouse until your children are grown. Before making any major decisions, you may want to contact a family law attorney who can provide you with clear advice and real answers to the tough questions. For more information and related reading materials, contact Arielle@BrowardLegal.com or (954) 703-2110.
This is NOT LEGAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied on to make any legal or other major decisions. If you have specific questions or inquiries regarding any of this information, you should consult with an attorney licensed in your state.
This article is scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue of the Sports and Activities Directory.