Helping Illinois Kids Cope with Divorce
Although divorce is never easy, most couples feel a sense of relief when the divorce is finalized and each party can move on to the next phase of his or her life. But for the thousands of Illinois children whose post-divorce life is dictated by the terms of a child custody agreement, there is no sense of relief. Divided homes, blended families and constant uprooting due to visitation agreements can leave children feeling angry, hurt, and confused. There are, however, things you can do to help ease the transition for your children.
Make sure your children know they are not at fault. Children often believe they caused the divorce. As parents, your most important job is to let them know the divorce is not their fault. If possible, both parents should sit down together with their children and break the news of the divorce to them. Answer any questions they have as honestly as possible without going into more detail than necessary.
Do not discuss divorce details with your child. Details about the divorce negotiations may consume your life throughout the process. Refrain from discussing divorce details with your children, though. This may increase their fear that they caused the divorce, or make them feel they are causing you stress (especially if you and your spouse are arguing over child support or other financial concerns).
Do not trash talk the other parent. Along with keeping details of the divorce to yourself, do not talk negatively about the children’s other parent. Not only is this detrimental to the child, but it could adversely affect the Court’s decision regarding child custody. One of the factors the Court considers when making an award of child custody is the parent’s ability to support a healthy relationship with the other. If word gets back to your spouse that you are engaging in trash talk, the Court may rule against awarding you primary physical custody.
Maintain the same rules and expectations in each household. Children, especially very young children, thrive on consistency. To the extent possible, both parents should agree on rules and expectations that will be enforced in each household. These may include rules regarding time limits on the use of computers and other electronic devices, bedtimes, curfews, and expectations regarding chores and school work. Presenting a united front will also help minimize the children’s ability to play one parent against each other.
Palatine Child Custody Attorney
If you are getting a divorce that involves child custody, contact the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. As an experienced Illinois child custody attorney, Nicholas W. Richardson is sensitive to the emotional impact divorce has on children. Because an amicable resolution is ultimately in your child’s best interests, Nicholas W. Richardson will collaborate with the other side whenever possible to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of your child custody issues. Serving clients throughout Cook, Lake, DuPage, McHenry and Kane Counties, child custody attorney Nicholas W. Richardson can provide you with a consultation to answer any of your family law-related questions.