Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

How to help your child prepare for divorce

If you and your spouse decide to move forward with divorce, you should immediately turn your attention to the well-being of your child.

It's imperative that you discuss these upcoming changes with your child, ensuring that he or she understands what's happening now and how things will be in the future.

Remember, too, that the best way to talk about divorce with your child is to base your approach largely on his or her age and understanding of what's happening.

Here are some tips to follow as you attempt to help your kids prepare for the divorce process and everything it will bring to their lives:

  • Encourage your children to share their feelings. You don't want them to leave everything bottled up inside, as this could lead to behavioral problems in the future. It's best to encourage the kids to speak their minds, regardless of how they are feeling.
  • Talk them through it. Depending on the age of your children, they may not be comfortable talking about their feelings. This is why you should jump in and attempt to talk them through things, while providing the necessary support.
  • Ask questions. How do you feel right now? Are you worried about the future? Are you concerned that you won't get to spend as much time with both mom and dad? You need to ask these types of questions, as it will prompt your children to open up.
  • Don't talk about it once and then move on. Telling the kids about your divorce is a good start, but you can't stop there. You need to continue the conversation with them in the future, as it's the best way to keep them feeling comfortable with how things are progressing.
  • Discuss divorce with the other parent present. This isn't always possible, but at least initially it would be in your best interest to broach the subject with both parents together.

When you follow these tips, you'll find it easier to help your children prepare for and navigate their way through the divorce process. Once you're on the right page here, it's easier for you to devote the necessary time to protecting your legal rights and getting everything you want from your divorce.

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Susan Rossi Cook, Attorney and Mediator

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Needham, MA 02494

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