Divorce is often very hard on couples. It takes a physical, mental and emotional toll when you decide you can no longer be with someone you once loved. This is totally understandable. However, divorce is hard on kids too. If you have children, you definitely need to think about their interests before, during and after the divorce.

The following tips work both at the start of divorce proceedings and after the divorce has been finalized.

1. Make Your Divorce as Amicable as Possible

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This is the first and obvious tip. Your children will pick up on any negative energy between you and your estranged-spouse. This is why it is important to take care of yourself. Self-care is the start of caring for others. It also helps reduce stress. After the divorce is final, you will still need to see your kids regularly, so maintaining a good relationship with your ex should be non-negotiable.

2. Consider Counseling

A lot of people only consider counseling as the last option when things get out of hand. This should not be the case. Counseling is a great way to bring together everyone involved in a divorce. It provides a safe place where the children especially can talk things out and say how they feel about the divorce. They also have a chance to point out the things they do not like. Their parents also get to explain everything in a controlled environment with the counselor acting as a mediator to make sure the conversation remains neutral and positive.

3. Minimize Changes Whenever Possible

Divorce involves a lot of huge changes for both the spouse and children. Your kids will have to live in two different homes (depending on the custody agreement), change schools, and move to a different city, among other things. While some of these cannot be avoided, there are some things that can be effectively managed, like how you introduce a new partner to your children.

Changing schools, moving homes, change in quality of life due to change in household income, and eventually new partners for their parents—they’re all traumatic, and some may be necessary, but try to minimize them. Read more at LifeHacker…

4. Do not Blame the Kids

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This is an obvious one, but some parents forget it and their kids end up being resentful, which makes the divorce even harder on them.

Another thing you should definitely not do is tell your children that you tried to work it out for their sake. This is yet another way of shifting the blame on them.

Young children are not able to see the gray areas and outside influences that led to the separation. More likely, they will blame themselves. And that’s a heavy weight for a child to carry. Read more at What to Expect…

Be Honest and Open

Lastly, you need to be open about the fact that you are having a divorce and what it means. Include all the possible changes that could happen, like change of location and schools.

Do not make your child think that the divorce could be reversed. Explain to them that it is final and that you are not getting back together. This lets them start acclimatizing to these new conditions.

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Every child needs to understand that divorce is final and not up for debate. However, the age of the child will determine how you explain the situation, as younger children may not need as many details. Read more at CA Divorce…

If you are considering divorce or are already in the process, it’s important to do all you can to make it easier for your kids. Hiring a great divorce lawyer, like Jonathan Meek of Meek Law Firm, will help the process move along more smoothly. Give us a call today at (704) 848-6335 to discuss the details of your situation.