Posted by Kit O'Brien, Senior Associate
Five ways to make divorce easier on your children
We know that children of divorced parents can be adversely affected by their parents’ behaviour during the divorce and separation process, and that it could affect their own ability to form positive adult relationships. However, US researchers have recently suggested that children of a “messy” divorce are also three times more likely to endure a lifetime of colds as adults!
So how can you save your children from a lifetime of sniffles? Here are 5 ways to reduce arguments and safeguard your children’s overall health and wellbeing.
1. Don’t use your children as weapons against your former partner
It’s understandable that emotions will be running high; you may well feel enormous anger and resentment particularly if you didn’t instigate the breakup. Depriving your children of time with their other parent won’t make you feel any better, and it may well result in your being involved in court proceedings that will be emotionally and financially costly. Sorting out financial issues shouldn’t be conditional on arrangements for children – or the other way around.
2. Vent your feelings when your children aren’t around
Of course there will be times when you need to have a rant – you’re only human. However, your children need the security of you as their parent. Hearing you express your emotions will cause them distress and may well result in problems for you should they repeat anything you’ve said.
3. Don’t make derogatory comments to your children about their other parent
It won’t change their need to have a relationship with them but it may, at some point, damage your relationship with them.
4. Support them and encourage them in the time they spend with their other parent
If they know that they can come home and talk freely and openly about this time, and that you will show interest and enthusiasm for what they’ve done, they will be more relaxed about spending time with their other parent. This can only strengthen your relationship with them.
5. Take advice
If you’re divorcing or separating, there are endless myths about how family law matters work and what sort of outcome you can expect. Most of what you hear from well-meaning family, friends and colleagues will be tall tales and shouldn’t be relied upon. Instead, talk to a specialist family lawyer as early as possible. They will be able to give you realistic, cost effective advice and will focus on helping you to achieve a swift, negotiated outcome so that you and your family can move forwards.
(and take Vitamin C for colds and don’t go out with wet hair!)
If you have children and would like advice about separating and divorce contact Kit O'Brien in our Family Law team on
01793 847 732 Email us
Family law solicitors who combine expertise with understanding