Divorce can be a painful, emotional process. Often, parties fight; they face financial obstacles; they might say hurtful things about each other inside and outside the legal setting.
However, as challenging as this may be for the adults, it can be even more upsetting for the children involved. As such, parents often want to shield their kids from at least some of the more difficult elements of the divorce process. Below, we offer some suggestions on how to do this.
- Use caution on social media. Even if your kids aren't on social media, their friends and their friends' parents could be. Assume that whatever you say online could get back to them.
- Fight away from the kids. Kids see and hear more than we think they do, and high-conflict situations can take a serious toll on them. Parents should refrain from fighting or discussing difficult topics when the children are around.
- Opt for mediation. Most divorce-related matters can be resolved with mediation instead of litigation. Mediation is a more peaceful and cooperative process, and opting for this method can send a positive message to children that parents can still work together.
- Consider shared custody. Unless joint custody is not in a child's best interests, parents should prepare to share custody. Studies have shown that children feel less stressed when they can spend time with both parents after divorce.
- Prioritize quality time with them. In the midst of a divorce, parents can get lost in their own experiences and the legal process. To minimize the toll this might take on the kids, parents should make a concerted effort to be present during their time with the kids. And focus on the quality of the time together, rather than the quantity.
These suggestions can help parents protect their children during a difficult divorce and make it a little easier for everyone to get through the process.