Relationships can be totally unpredictable, and while no couple set out to make a short term commitment, many marriages do not stand the test of time. Childless divorces and separations are so much easier, yet if you do have children and have decided with your partner to call it a day, here are some helpful tips to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible and there is minimal impact on their lives.
Establish Some Ground Rules
One critical aspect of informing the children is that both mum and dad must appear to be united, so you really must sit down with your partner and discuss how exactly you are both going to break the news to the children. There should be no visible signs of emotion, as all children have a natural instinct to react to any emotional response and if a young child was to see their mother and father in a heated argument, this would have a very negative impact, as it threatens the peace and harmony they are accustomed to.
Seek a Family Lawyer
Either together or separately, you should contact an experienced family lawyer, who can help you through this critical stage, and with their experience in such matters, they can advise you on the best approach to take. One thing is for sure, both mum and dad must be in full agreement over what they will say, and with a little emotional detachment, breaking the news should not be received too badly. Sourcing a family lawyer is best achieved with a Google search, using a term such as, “divorce lawyers in Melbourne”, or whichever city you live in, and you will soon be able to talk to an expert regarding the children.
A Unified Front
Whenever you are both with the children, it is vital you project a unified image, and avoid any dialogue that could be interpreted as a disagreement. Of course, both parents should have already decided upon the details prior to informing the children, which will help you to avoid any disagreement or emotional response that might seem threatening to them. This might be difficult, as children are finely tuned to emotions, as are adults, but if both parents make a concerted effort to appear in harmony, this will go a long way towards a smooth transition.
Focus on the Positive
Talking about the future is a good approach, and painting a positive picture by pointing out the advantages to the child, and focusing on exciting outings that you or your partner will soon be accompanying them on. Teenage children pose a slightly different problem, in as much as they are more aware of relationships, and the adolescent period can often invoke a very emotional response to a divorce, so great care must be taken to make the child feel loved by both mum and dad, and that the family unit is far from broken, there are just some minor alterations to the living arrangements.
A divorce or separation can be stressful at the best of times, and with children involved, both parents must always have the children’s best interests at heart, and appear both calm and in agreement.