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Communication important in helping children during divorce

Florida parents who are getting a divorce can help their children adjust during this difficult time. At the outset, they should be honest with their children who will know that something is wrong when a parent moves out. Children need reassurance that the divorce is not about them as well as space to ask questions and process their emotions. If children do not talk about the divorce, parents should start conversations about it and check in to see how they are feeling.

Children may deal with their grief in different ways. In some cases, parents may want to arrange for a child to see a therapist. Parents need to take care of themselves as well. If they allow themselves to become too run down, they will be unable to help their children.

It is important that parents do not drag children into the divorce. Parents should avoid badmouthing one another in front of the children, and they may need to be flexible in order to avoid conflict. Not everything will go smoothly during this transition time, and when appointments are missed or other minor issues arise, it is better to let it go for the sake of harmony. Parents should also avoid using children to manipulate one another or asking a child to carry a message to the other parent.

If parents negotiate a custody agreement instead of going to court, they should try to make a decision that is in the best interests of the child just as a judge would. This may mean setting aside personal differences. If parents cannot negotiate an agreement with the help of their attorneys, litigation will be necessary, and a judge will not consider a parent unfit simply because of the other parent's disapproval. Furthermore, an unwillingness to cooperate might make a judge view a parent unfavorably for custody.

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