It is well known that divorce can be difficult for children. Children may feel angry or confused about the divorce. Children may even believe the divorce is their fault or that they can do something to help their parents reconcile.
Parents can help address these problems by taking steps to soften the blow of their divorce for their children.
How to soften the blow
Parents can break the news of the divorce together. Parents should have a plan regarding what they want to discuss with their child and how they want to do it. Parents should give their child time to ask questions and should be honest with their child.
Parents can help their child cope with the divorce by respecting one another. This means being civil during the divorce process as well as afterwards.
Parents should avoid making their child the go-between or badmouthing each other to their child. Children should not be burdened with these concerns. If parents are having trouble with their co-parent, they should calmly discuss these concerns with one another or even seek professional help.
Can an uncontested divorce help?
The divorce process has the potential to be long and drawn out, especially if a hearing before a judge is necessary to reach a resolution.
Some parents choose to pursue an uncontested divorce, referred to as summary dissolution in Indiana.
In an uncontested divorce, parents agree on child custody arrangements on their own, along with all other divorce issues. Some parents work with a mediator in an uncontested divorce. You can still be represented by an attorney in an uncontested divorce.
An uncontested divorce avoids the need for a hearing. Once a settlement is reached and approved by the court, the divorce is finalized.
Still, an uncontested divorce is not right for everyone. If there is any disagreement on child custody or other divorce issues between parents, they will have to pursue a contested divorce.
A contested divorce does not have to be acrimonious or harmful to a child. In a contested divorce, parents can continue to negotiate divorce issues, including child custody. Sometimes a settlement is reached before the hearing date.
Ultimately, parents need to cooperate and work together both during the divorce process and beyond. This can help their child process the divorce in an emotionally healthy way.