Talking To Children About Divorce And Custody Arrangements
Going through a divorce is one of the most difficult things you are likely to experience. It is particularly hard when, as a parent, you need to explain what is happening to your children. When talking to them about divorce, child custody arrangements are likely to be a top concern. Find out how to talk to them in a way that helps them adapt to the situation.
Telling Children About Your Plans To Divorce
There is no denying that the divorce of their parents can be devastating for a child. However, it is generally better than living in a home where there is constant fighting or coldness and they likely have friends who have already gone through the process. How you address the topic with them can make a major difference in their ability to adapt to the situation.
Counselors advise that one of the most important things you can do is to tell them as soon as possible, rather than waiting or having them hear it from others. Psychology Today offers these tips:
- Aim to tell them at a time when both you and your spouse can be there together.
- Schedule it for late afternoon or evening, when there are no other obligations.
- Acknowledge the tension that has built within the home.
- Tell them of your plans to end your marriage.
- Acknowledge that this will involve some major changes.
- Explain practical details, such as which parent will be leaving the home and when.
- Avoid placing blame or divulging details about marital problems.
- Reassure them it is alright to feel sad or angry and to express their feelings, providing it is in a healthy manner.
- Offer to answer any questions they have, to the best of your ability.
Discussing Child Custody Arrangements
Among the first questions children are likely to have when you tell them about an impending divorce concerns where they will live. Child custody determinations are dictated by provisions under the Virginia Code and factor in each parent’s current relationship with the child and their ability to provide for their needs. It may take time to get a final order put in place, so you may not have any concrete answers to provide your child with. However, relaying the following can help reassure them throughout the process:
- Let them know that you are still working on arrangements.
- Remind them of their importance, that you and the other parent love them, and that you will both continue to play an active role in their lives.
- Reassure them that you will factor in their feelings and specific wants or needs in creating a child time sharing schedule.
Our Leesburg Divorce and Child Custody Attorneys Are To Help Parents
Going through a divorce when you have children is always difficult. At Schwartz Kalina, PLLC, our goal is to make the process easier. Call or contact our Leesburg child custody attorneys online and request a consultation to discuss how we can help you today.