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Oak Park family law attorney divorce

The end of a marriage can occur for many reasons, including infidelity, abuse, addiction and financial problems. But sometimes, spouses may put off filing for divorce, especially if they have children. Parents often worry about the emotional impact their split can have on their kids in the immediate aftermath of a divorce as well as in the future. However, studies have shown that children can be more traumatized when parents who have a toxic relationship stay together. Constant exposure to arguments is not healthy and may prevent children from having positive attitudes or relationships themselves. Fortunately, there are ways for parents to minimize the negative effect of a divorce on their children so all involved can live “happily ever after.”     

Alleviating the Stress of the Situation 

How children react to a divorce typically depends on their age, personality and the circumstances of the breakup. The initial reaction may be disbelief, anger, sadness, anxiety or worry. During a divorce, kids can also learn valuable tools for dealing with stress, and as a result many children eventually become more flexible, tolerant adults. Navigating this major life change often depends on how the parents handle the process. 

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Hillside divorce attorney for parents and childrenChildren naturally want their parents to remain married forever. This desire typically stems more from the child’s fear of the unknown than from any other source. When parents decide to divorce, this may not even be a surprise to children, since by the time they reach this decision, parents may have undergone a trial separation, or children may have observed a significant amount of conflict in the home. However, even in those situations, hearing the news of a pending divorce is a conversation that children will remember the rest of their lives. As parents, we can work to protect our children’s best interests by following these tips for guiding the discussion in a healthy and constructive direction:

Break the News Together

When you discuss divorce with your children, you and your spouse should do so together in a united manner. This conversation is not the time nor the place for bitterness or resentment. Even if one spouse is not on board with the decision to divorce, it is in the best interests of the children to incorporate the word “we” as much as possible and make it appear as a joint decision. Keep in mind that this is emotionally difficult for your children as well. When you present the information as a team, it shows that you both are willing and able to work together.

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