7 Ways to Make Difficult Divorce Settlements Easier on the Kids
Divorce is, unfortunately, very common in the United States. Nationally, a divorce is filed every 13 seconds — that’s 6,646 divorces each day and 46,523 divorces each week. If you’re contemplating or already embroiled in a divorce, however, you know that sometimes it’s the best option for everyone involved.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy. A divorce settlement process is never fun, and things can very quickly turn ugly, especially if a child custody dispute is involved. In many family law cases, you’ll end up co-parenting either during or after the divorce, no matter how much child custody help you get. The thing you don’t want to do is turn your children into weapons against your co-parent while you go through this difficult process. With that in mind, here are seven ways to make life easier for kids during difficult divorce settlements:
- Reassure Them It’s Not Their Fault
Many kids think that they’ve somehow had a hand in causing their parents’ divorce, and that’s especially true during difficult divorce settlements before they’ve had much time to process. Reassure them that’s not the case.
- Be Courteous to Your Co-Parent
The less time you and your co-parent spend fighting over petty things like washing clothes before a visit, the better. Do your best to be courteous and let the little things go.
- Don’t Obstruct Important Information
Don’t bar the other parent from learning about things like doctor’s appointments and soccer games. This will only end up hurting your kids.
- Try to Maintain Routines and Schedules
Do what you can to prevent disruptions to your kids’ schedules. That may mean being a little more strict about small deviations than you were before.
- Set Up Special Activities/Quality Time
Since you’ll likely be spending less time with your kids overall, ensure that the time you do spend isn’t wasted. Everyday tasks like homework still need to get done, but you should also set up specific fun activities so you can bond.
- Don’t Pump Them for Information
Don’t use your kids to remotely spy on your ex. That means no asking about how your co-parent is doing, who he/she is dating, how the house looks, etc.
- Avoid Playing the Blame Game
Hashing out what went wrong should occur with lawyers or therapists, not your children. That doesn’t mean concealing all information from your kids — they’ll want to know what’s going on, at least on some level — but it does mean not unfairly demonizing the other parent.
Do you have any experience in helping children when their parents are going through difficult divorce settlements? Share your thoughts in the comments.