The end of your marriage will bring changes to virtually every member of the family. Your decision to divorce impacts your kids in ways that you may not fully understand, and it is critical to be supportive and considerate during this time. As a parent, you know how important it is to protect your kids during this difficult time. You will want to make decisions that set them up for success and provide them with stability and security long-term.
One of the most important things you can do is to ensure the terms of your child custody and visitation order are reasonable and sustainable. By doing this, you can provide your kids with regular access to both parents, a set schedule and confidence that the divorce will not ruin their lives. To help your kids, you may have to set aside your own temporary feelings and focus on what will likely protect their best interests above all else.
Normal behaviors from children
It is important to remember that your children will react to your divorce. Whether they are surprised, relieved, angry, frustrated or confused, you may notice behaviors that are contrary to how they normally act. Some of the most common behavior changes seen in children after a divorce include the following:
- Guilt — This may stem from a feeling that, somehow, they contributed to the circumstances that led to their parents’ divorce.
- Anxiety — Children may feel anxious about how the divorce will affect their relationship with their parents, where they will live and other areas of their lives.
- Withdrawing — Children may act withdrawn or even demonstrate regression in areas of their lives where they had previously made progress.
- Behavioral issues — Children may act out in ways that are unusual for them as a way to express the strong feelings they are experiencing as a result of their parents’ divorce.
There is no single custody plan that will work well for every family. However, you can make choices that will allow you to support your kids in ways that are important for them. No one knows your children like you do, and you can help them through this time of change and transition. You may find it beneficial to have assistance as you make custody-related decisions and pursue terms that are best for your children.