As every Las Vegas divorce attorney knows, the impact of divorce on children is a mixed lot of intense feelings they aren’t often big enough to handle. As adults, you already know how overwhelmed you feel, but you enjoy at least some level of control. Children are caught in the middle with feelings of confusion, guilt, and sometimes even relief. It’s important to take steps to make sure that the impact on the psychology of the child(ren) is as positive as possible, or at least minimize the negative impact.
If at all possible, it’s always best to let the children know what’s going on as a family. This helps them see that they are still a part of a family, even if the dynamics of the family unit are changing. Let the children know that you are getting a divorce, and present it as a decision about what’s best for the family rather than as one parent being angry with another one. This is a time during which the children should be allowed to ask questions and voice their thoughts. This gives them a limited feeling of control so that they aren’t just handed a decision and then left to deal with it on their own.
One of the most difficult questions that every Las Vegas divorce attorney is presented with is, “How much do we tell the children?” You don’t want to give them all the gory details, but you do need to give them enough information so that you steer them away from blaming themselves and give them a real point of reference.
- Explain that you argue more than you get along, cite specific times if necessary, but don’t share the details of the actual arguments.
- Offer that you are going in different directions in your lives. If possible, relate this to children in a scenario where their friends developed interests that were different than theirs, and they ended up with less in common than they used to have.
- Make sure to stress that it has nothing at all to do with the children and everything to do with making painful adult decisions.
When something happens in a person’s life, the very first instinct is to place blame somewhere. This is especially true with children, when blame immediately follows getting caught. It’s important that you take responsibility for your own actions so that the children don’t do it instead. This isn’t the time to blame the other spouse, either. You need to present this as a joint decision, to avoid accidentally forcing children to take sides. If you don’t take responsibility, know that your children will, because they don’t know where else to put the blame, and it is extremely difficult for children to remain angry with their parents. Don’t go into detail, but do admit that you made mistakes.
When it comes time to talk to your children about your divorce, just remember how overwhelmed you feel by your emotions, and then try to see that the emotions of your children are just as intense, but they don’t have the experience to know how to manage them.