How an amicable divorce can benefit your kids

Filing for divorce is never an easy decision. This goes double for divorcing couples with children.

Regardless of how you and your soon-to-be former spouse feel about one another at this point, ending your marriage in the least painful, confusing, and traumatic way for your children must be a top priority for both of you.

Here are some tips for striving to make your divorce as amicable as possible so your kids fare better throughout the divorce process and beyond.

Communicate openly

As with so many other aspects of human relationships, effective communication is key when it comes to talking to your kids about divorce.

If at all possible, you and your soon-to-be former spouse should sit down with your children together to present a united front as you reassure them that even though their parents won’t be living together anymore, you will both still be there for them.

In addition, be sure to communicate that any feelings they might have about their parent’s divorce are valid and important and that they can talk to both of you about the emotions they are experiencing at any time.

You might think you are doing your kids a service by trying to protect them from the reality of what is going on, but children are smart: they can pick up on even the slightest changes in attitude, behavior, and routine.

It’s best to be honest with them from the beginning about what is changing (“Mom and Dad are not going to be married anymore”) and what is staying the same (“We are both still your parents and love you very much.”)

Reassuring your kids that while some things are changing, your love and care for them isn’t going anywhere will not only go a long way toward validating their feelings but can also be therapeutic for you and your soon-to-be ex as you navigate your divorce.

Co-parent effectively

Both during and after your divorce, it is essential that you and your former spouse continue to cooperate as co-parents. This means working together to provide a stable routine for your children.

Co-parenting means making an effort to collaborate on all aspects of your kids’ upbringing, both big and small.

It means devising an equitable and feasible custody agreement that gives both parents time with the kids, as well as hammering out any details about extracurricular activities, child support, and health insurance.

It means establishing ground rules for behavior and discipline in both households to keep your kids from becoming confused or lashing out when one parent allows them to do something the other one doesn’t.

With practice, patience, and grace, you and your ex-spouse can co-parent effectively and be there for your children’s important events such as dance recitals, school plays, sporting events, and graduation ceremonies, as well as the little moments that make up their childhood.

Even if you can agree on nothing else, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are sure to agree that putting your kids’ feelings first during the divorce process is a top priority.

By choosing a Denver divorce mediator to help you end your marriage in a simple, stress-free way, you’re taking the first step toward a new chapter that benefits your kids as much as it does you.