SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOUR CHILD? THE DO’S!
In our previous post “The Rules: How not to ruin your children when divorcing,” we focused on the “don’ts,” behavior you must absolutely avoid when going through a divorce with children. This post is about how to proactively help your children adjust and cope during a divorce.
1. Encourage a healthy relationship with the other parent: Regardless of your opinion or feeling toward your spouse, it is important that you encourage your child/children to have a loving and healthy relationship with the other parent.
2. Maintain the Status Quo. Try to maintain regular routines with your children, as much as possible. If you took them to basketball every Wednesday before the separation, then continue to do so if you can.
3. Reassure Your Children. Reassure your child that both parents love them and that their needs will be met. Provide reassurance and stability to your children by following regular routines, maintaining stable employment (to help meet their needs), and modeling emotional stability . If you are struggling to cope with the separation and divorce, do not hesitate to contact a counselor. A counselor can offer invaluable insight and assistance for you and your family as you go through this process.
4. Talk to your child/children’s teachers/school: Briefly explain to them that your family is involved in a divorce/custody action and ask that they notify you if they see any changes in your child/children. You do not have to go into detail about your case.
5. Try to Resolve Case by Agreement. It is often in the best interests of your children to come to an agreement and resolve the case. Can you compromise with your spouse? Is that compromise in the best interest of your children? Or do you require a stranger (judge) to make parenting decisions about your children? Make sure your attorney takes the time to explain and analyze all the options in your case, and do not hesitate to ask questions. Dividing families is very fact specific and solutions vary greatly from family to family
6. Maintain or Create a Strong Support System. Your family no longer looks or functions the way it used to. The benefits of the two parent household are gone. It is time to draw closer to friends and family to create a support system. Make sure there are a few people you can call if you need help.
7. Follow the Court Order (Read it. Review it with your attorney. Keep a copy handy). If you have a court order in your case, whether temporary or final, you must follow it. Make sure you follow any restraining orders on parental conduct and bring your child to visitation when it is ordered. Make sure changes in visitation arrangements are as agreed by you and the other parent and put in writing-text message or email.