How to Ensure a Child-Centric Divorce

Although getting a divorce may be the healthiest thing to do for your family in the long run, it is important not to disregard the negative effects it can have on your children. The decision to do so alters your family unit and will impact their lives in profound ways, for better or for worse. To protect your children’s health and well-being, you will need to advocate for their best interests and take immediate steps to mitigate their emotional trauma. 

At TNS Family Law, we have decades of experience helping families navigate the divorce process. Here are our tips and recommendations for how to ensure a smooth transition for your children to this new family dynamic


Tell Your Children as a Team

When telling your children about your divorce, it is important to put aside any hard feelings you may have for one another and present it as a team. Only communicate facts that will affect your children in the immediate future and reassure them that they will still have a close family even though it is being restructured.


Keep Negotiations Civil

A hostile divorce can put an immense amount of stress on your children. To reduce the likelihood of extreme contention between you and your ex, focus on the children’s best interests. And if possible, finalize the divorce outside of court to avoid the often taxing and tumultuous divorce trial process. For example, you can hire a mediator or collaborative divorce team that you and your spouse feel comfortable with to negotiate your divorce and custody agreements. Keep negotiations as civil as possible and focus on working together to achieve the best outcome for your children.


Consult With a Therapist or Mental Health Professional

During the divorce process, emotions are bound to run high. A therapist or mental health professional can equip you with the coping mechanisms needed to deal with these emotions healthily. They also provide you with an unbiased and private outlet for all your thoughts and emotions. Professional help adds another layer of protection against an adversarial divorce and can help you focus on protecting your children.


Collaborate on a Fair Custody and Visitation Agreement

In most cases, children should have a close relationship with each of their parents, so try to avoid the knee-jerk reaction of seeking as much time with them as possible. Instead, propose a schedule that is fair and equitable. Your consideration and generosity now will encourage goodwill with your ex for years to come.


Rely on Extended Family and Close Friends

Family and friends can be helpful resources during this trying time. Do not hesitate to rely on them. There is no shame in asking to delegate some childcare responsibilities to loved ones while you are busy with the many “chores” related to uncoupling. They may enrich your children’s lives in new ways as well.


Find New Ways to Bond with Your Children

Now is a great time to consider introducing or diving into your children’s interests with them. If they love the outdoors, prioritize quality time outdoors together. Spending quality time together and forging new interests are great ways to alleviate stress. Creating these positive memories will also reassure your kids that family bonding experiences will remain central in their lives.


Split Finances Fairly

Even financial decisions should be made with the interests of your children in mind. Your kids deserve healthy and happy parents, and can sense distress from a mile away. During negotiations, each spouse should seek to fulfill their most important needs while also accommodating those of the other. A good divorce attorney can help you negotiate a fair agreement that leaves both parties feeling acknowledged and respected.

Finally, do not feel guilty about your decision to divorce. Your own health and happiness affect your children as well. And remember, you are making the best decision for your family in the long run. Stay vigilant about their emotional health during this time and do your best to ease them into this new family dynamic.

For questions about divorce, please contact TNS Family Law at (410) 339-4100 or Our team of attorneys is here to help guide you.

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