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Jeffrey L Hoffer, 805 Divorce and Family Law Attorney


7 Ways to Help Your Children During Divorce


1. Think carefully about how to tell your children about your divorce. What is best will depend on the children's ages. Ideally, you and your spouse should tell them together. Most importantly, make sure that the children understand that it is not their fault. Children always believe that if they had done something differently, then you and your spouse would not be getting a divorce.

2. Do not use your children as a shoulder to cry on. As you go through the divorce, you will feel depressed, angry, upset, and many other emotions. Your children are there and know what is going on -- so it is tempting to unload your burdens on them. Do not do so. You are the parent and they are the children. Instead, talk with friends and family or go to a counselor. Children should be allowed to be children, and not shoulder your adult concerns.

3. Do not use your children as bargaining chips. Children are not property that can be traded, bought or sold. Treat them well and always consider their needs.Let your children know that it is alright to love both parents. You do not want the children to feel pressured to choose between you and your spouse.

4. Do not criticize your former spouse to your children.

5. Do not use your children to spy on your former spouse.

6. Do not use your children as messengers. Divorce is difficult enough for children already, without having to relay messages between you and your former spouse. Be sure to provide your former spouse with all the information he or she needs about your children.

7. Do not argue in front of your children. Parental conflict can devastate your children.Continue being a good parent. It is easy to get self-absorbed in your emotions during a divorce. Continue to be as good a parent as you can be.

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