How to Minimize the Impact of Divorce on Children

Family Law judges aren’t really there to dole out advice and guidance for divorcing spouses. But there is one important tip that every Family Law judge is going to tell every divorcing parent: do not get your kids needlessly involved in your divorce.

The concept of divorce is already a particularly difficult one to grasp for a child, especially young children. Trying to get them involved with arguments is even worse. The last thing a child wants is to see his or her parents fighting, and pushing that scenario onto them is sure to have a negative psychological impact.

As child psychologists near-unanimously agree, a child’s development will be the least hindered by an uncontested divorce that involves no open arguments and, in many cases, no fault that led to divorce, other than falling out of love. By putting them into the middle of a contested divorce, it establishes and reinforces the idea that conflict and anger are acceptable means to finding a solution to problems. This mindset can be less-than-ideal for a young, developing child and could potentially lead to rebellion, violence, or the inability to adapt to challenges later in life. Don’t let your children use the excuse that they can’t succeed because their parents divorced. Of course, this is not a guaranteed outcome and varies heavily from child to child, but the groundwork concept is sound.

Teenagers Hiding Emotions

If you or your spouse have overstepped your boundaries with your young child and upset them through involvement in your divorce, you will know by their reactions. Teenagers, however, might carefully guard their emotions or put on a strong face for you. Keep in mind that teens are just as susceptible as young kids, if not more, to negative psychological impacts from divorce. Set aside some time each week to spend time with your teenage son or daughter, ask them how they are taking the divorce, and let them know that you’re always open to conversation and questions.

Don’t Use Your Child as the Messenger

Sometimes it is impossible to keep your children completely in the dark about the troubles of your divorce. Teenage children may be naturally curious about how the divorce is progressing and may actually want to give their own advice about what you can do. If you decide to involve your children to this capacity, it is crucial that you keep matters civil and polite whenever they are around. Do not use them as a messenger to relay information to your spouse, and absolutely do not disparage or insult your spouse in conversations with your child. You should not be trying to drive them away from your spouse since this, once again, will hurt their development and make it difficult for them to form trusting bonds with others.

If you are worried that the complications of your divorce could spill into the lives of your children, contact Kuhn & Sandler, PLLC right away. Our Suffolk County divorce attorneys can help you manage your divorce with confidence and eliminate obstacles, which lifts stress off both you and your children. By providing truly compassionate legal counsel backed by 35+ years of legal experience, we hope to guide you and your family towards the next, better chapter in your lives.

Free consultations are available – just call 631-629-6874.