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Children Experiencing Divorce
Divorce is more than a legal action; it is an emotional journey that often evolves throughout the years. After the marriage ends, matters that revolve around children, such as medical and dental insurance, child support, children’s activities, spousal maintenance, and school issues continue to need attention as the child grows.
Children experience a lot of shifts during divorce, such as:
- A parent being largely absent from the usual activities – the morning routine, come-home routine, and the go-to-bed routine
- In most cases, one parent has custody of the children and the other parent, often called the non-custodial parent, has visiting rights. Since they won’t be spending as much time with the non-custodial parent, their relationship may alter, and more effort will have to be put out to maintain that relationship.
- Money problems may exist from the need to support two households. This could cause a stay-at-home parent to enter the workforce or an employed parent to work longer hours or get a part-time job in addition to a full-time job.
- If children must move because of the divorce, they also lose their old home, neighborhood friends, and school, which can sometimes be a difficult transition.
- If parents express their worries for the future, those worries may be passed on to their children.
Just like parents, children experience divorce as a time of loss. Some children may believe their parent’s divorce is their fault. Children can experience some of the same feelings as their divorcing parents but from their own perspective.
Depending on age, each child may have different feelings. They derive feelings of security from a predictable, normal, and safe family life and routine. In the case of divorce, they may experience feelings of abandonment, anger, disbelief, denial, depression, insecurity, fear, failure, loss of identity and status, loss of structure, rejection, and unwanted change. The loss of security, structure, and relationships are some of the largest components of divorce.
So what can you do?
Even though divorce can be a tough time for both parents and kids, the tough feelings associated with the process will eventually fade, and a new normal will be created. Time and patience will heal everyone involved.
Children might need professional mental health counseling, and it is best to get it from a counselor who is experienced with children’s issues in a divorce. The school counselor and school teacher can help but are many times overwhelmed with too many children who may also be dealing with problems. However, it can be beneficial to let your kid’s teachers know what is going on, so they can have a better understanding if your child has any noticeable changes. Peer support groups are also helpful, where available, and if the child is mature enough.
Parents could also attend counseling to help deal with their own respective issues and their children’s issues. Family counseling is also a good option.
At the Law Office of Tim Whitten, we truly care about our clients and their well-being. We believe in a collaborative approach that reduces the emotional and financial stress by offering alternative options to resolving their disputes, such as mediation. Our goal is to help folks resolve their family law issues in a way that protects their interests and preserves their family ties.
If you are in need of an experienced family law attorney and you believe that our philosophy may work for you, contact The Law Office Of Tim Whitten, P.C. We are dedicated to helping you and your family move forward peacefully. Call 512-478-1011 to speak with our firm today.