Divorce at any time is rough on kids, but splitting up and divorcing during the school year can be especially tough on children. For this reason, many parents decide to wait until the summer to help their children better transition through the separation and eventual divorce.
If you absolutely cannot wait until the warmer months, there are some things you can do to help your kids through the rough patches they may encounter as you and your soon to be ex-spouse divorce. Remember, there is no “best time” to begin divorce proceedings.
How you and your future ex approach the separation and divorce will directly affect your children.
- Make an agreement with your spouse not to fight or discuss the separation and divorce when the children are around.
- Keep school-related schedules, after-school activities and play dates with friends and other routines as close to the regular schedule as possible. Not interrupting your child’s schedule gives them some sense of stability.
- Do not introduce new partners until the summer, if at all possible. Most professionals recommend waiting at least 6 months before introducing the children to a new person and then only if it is a serious relationship. A school year split is difficult enough on a child. A new person in mom’s or dad’s life is just going to cause more anxiety. Keep the atmosphere as calm as possible and focus attention on your child and make your decisions child-centered.
- Put yourself in your child’s place and think about what he or she is feeling. Children go through a range of emotions when parents divorce, including fear, anxiety, guilt and shame.
- Understand & respect that your children love both of you and it hurts when one parent disparages the other. Keep the talk positive or neutral, and know that sometimes older children view neutral as negative as well.
The school year is an especially difficult time to be separating or divorcing. However, if you make an effort to communicate and commit to keeping your child’s school and activity schedule, you and your future ex can create a child-centered atmosphere that will help your child better cope with the transition.
Getting Legal Help
The experienced Sacramento Family Law Attorneys at Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP can help you navigate your divorce and child custody issues with respect and compassion. Contact Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP today for knowledgeable and respectful representation. Call us at (916) 455-5200 or email us at info@DivorceWithRespect.com.
For more further reading on parenting through divorce, check out Huffington Post Divorce.