Divorce affects many parts of your life. One of the biggest questions that many soon-to-be divorced couples have is, “How will our divorce affect our children?”
I Want a Divorce: Now What?
Making the decision to divorce is rarely easy. When you have decided that divorce is the best avenue to take, it is important to consider how the overall process will affect your children. The process leading up to the divorce, the divorce proceedings, and life after divorce all involve your children in one way or another and require a great deal of forethought.
After you and your spouse have both uttered the four words, “I want a divorce,” things can begin to move rather quickly. While it may be beneficial for you to speed up the process, it is important that your children are included in the ordeal, versus being kept in the dark. In fact, one of the key points that divorce experts make is that the situation should not be sugar-coated.
Hiding your divorce from your children will only do more harm in the long run. Children should be able to communicate freely with their parents about the situation. As curious beings, your children likely know more about the state of your relationship than they are letting on. Make time to speak with your children and to ask them about their wants and needs.
If your children are older, including them in the overall conversation is very important. The separation of parents often makes children feel like they lack control. This can cause them to emotionally act out or dive into behaviors that they do not have control over. While seeking out divorce lawyers in your area, consider seeking out a family therapist as well.
As previously stated, divorce is hard on children, and it is not uncommon for children to act out during and after a divorce. By preemptively securing the help of a professional to guide your children through this difficult transition, the potential negative effects that divorce can have on your children will be reduced. Further, therapy gives children an outlet and allows them to speak about their concerns freely without worrying about the effects that their words will have on their parents.
Hiring a Divorce Lawyer
After the initial declaration of divorce, hiring a divorce lawyer is the next logical step in the overall divorce process. A good divorce lawyer should, above all else, put your children first; this is why hiring a divorce lawyer is not something that should be taken lightly. Look for a divorce lawyer who has ample experience in family law.
A good divorce lawyer—no matter which side they are representing— will remind you both that the wellbeing of your children comes first. Further, a divorce lawyer should make you feel comfortable enough to speak as candidly as possible about the situation at hand. Taking the time to interview various divorce lawyers is wise.
If a divorce lawyer is more concerned about winning than he or she is about the effects the process will have on your children, it is best to seek counsel elsewhere. In court, the judge will place a high emphasis on the needs of your children. Securing a divorce attorney that does the same can help avoid any surprises if you and your spouse cannot come to a divorce agreement in mediation and end up in court.
During and After the Divorce
Aside from your own grief and the time needed to process this monumental transition, you have the added worry of how your children will be affected by this life-changing event. The first thing to do is to unite with your spouse over your shared love for your kids.
Sit your children down and explain to them in a simple way why you are both making the decision to live in separate houses. Then, reassure your children that the love you both have for them will not change. Tell them that the divorce is not their fault and that it is okay to feel sad, confused, and angry. Remind them that they can tell you if they feel any of those emotions.
The biggest shock that many children face is when one parent ultimately moves out of the shared home. A way to help soften that blow is to prepare your children for the move . Let them visit the second home. Allow them to pick out furniture and toys for their new room(s). If possible, do not force your children to change schools. When home life is hectic, it is important that other facets of their lives stay consistent.
Children need time to process the divorce. They do not understand the benefits that will eventually come from their parents choosing to take separate paths. Respect this need for time and space. When finalizing the divorce and when agreeing on terms, remember that the terms affect your children, as well.
How Do I Find Good Divorce Lawyers Near Me?
A question many couples have after they have agreed to divorce is, “Are there good divorce lawyers near me?” A good divorce lawyer needs to be a complementary fit for your needs. Shopping around for a divorce lawyer in your area that you feel comfortable with is paramount.
A good divorce lawyer should be concerned with one thing: to minimize the financial and emotional burdens that divorce has on an individual and his or her family. If a divorce lawyer is solely concerned with a paycheck, go elsewhere. The livelihood of the children affected by the divorce will be a good divorce lawyer’s main motivation for success.
If you are searching for counsel in Arkansas that puts your children first and that prioritizes family, look no further than Mann & Kemp. From offering overall guidance on how to proceed with a divorce to answering questions about custody and alimony, the divorce lawyers at Mann & Kemp are here to help guide and support you during this difficult life transition. Contact Mann & Kemp today at (501) 222-4730 to schedule a consultation.