There is no denying how difficult divorce is for every single member of a family. Regardless of the root of the issues or the family dynamic at play, a divorce is one of the most painful life experiences for everyone involved. Children are impacted by divorce in unique and pervasive ways and may have difficult questions to ask, feelings to process, concerns to convey, and a sense of loss that manifests in a variety of different behaviors. A child will see their parent’s divorce in a different way than the parents will and it is important to let the children of the relationship have a voice in the process so that they can come to terms with this huge life change for everyone involved.
How Many Details to Share with Your Children?
One very common question we get from parents who are going through a divorce is “How many details should be shared with children?”. This depends in large part on their age and the personality of the child. For example, an adolescent may want, need and deserve many more details than an elementary age child. However, one adolescent may ask for considerably more information about the details of the divorce than another adolescent.
At baseline, it is important to communicate to your children that the parents were unhappy living together, and that they have decided to live independently and legally separate their lives. One key when adults talk about their divorce with their children is to remember that the kids will likely absorb the information in a more healthy way if it is told subjectively, without a lot of negative information to discredit the other parent. Ultimately, when a child is older, he/she will process all of the information about the divorce they have received over the years and draw their own conclusions.
Is There An Age that Divorce Becomes Easier On A Child?
Another frequently asked question about how children are impacted by divorce is “At what age is divorce hardest for children?”. It seems that as children age and gain a bit of independence from their parents, this independence may give them a perspective on the situation that can prove helpful for coping with the divorce and the questions that it raises. On the other-hand, staying in an inharmonious marriage just because the children are young may affect them more than the divorce itself ever could. Regardless of age, divorce forces a great deal of change into the life of a child — visitation between two homes, potential relocation, and eventually to one/both parents dating other adults.
One thing to note is that every divorce is different and your children’s reaction to a divorce will be different from each other and from other families going through similar situations. It is helpful to keep the lines of communication open, try to provide stability, objectivity and support that is tailored to your children’s needs. Our Minnesota law office provides multiple divorce processes: Divorce Mediation, Divorce Dissolution, Contested Divorce and Divorce Litigation. All depending on your individual needs.
If you have any questions about how to help your children cope with a divorce, or need advice from a reputable and caring divorce attorney feel free to give Kallemeyn & Kallemeyn a call at (763) 427-5131 to discuss your unique situation.