While divorce in Illinois can be difficult enough for the spouses involved, it’s often the children that suffer most. Those who are considering filing for divorce should consider the fact that how they proceed through this legal matter can negatively affect their children. This is especially the case for young children that may not completely understand why the divorce is happening.
The possible negative impacts of divorce on children
Divorce can often be the hardest for children who do not understand why their mother and father no longer want to be together. Sadly, these negative emotions can often manifest into real problems for these children. This can include:
- Poor performance in school
- Loss of interest in socializing
- Behavioral problems
- Mood swings
- Heightened stress
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
Work out custody issues with your spouse
You have to reconsider how you proceed through a divorce with children if you wish to avoid these negative consequences. One thing that must be avoided is fighting between spouses over the custody of the children. Instead, the best strategy is for both spouses to come to an amicable agreement regarding sharing custody that benefits the children the most. This will be much easier on the children than the legal warfare that custody battles often become in court.
Explain the divorce in a way that will not worry the children
The second biggest hurdle will be explaining the divorce to the children. The best way to do this may be to do it together with your spouse with all children present. That way, it will not seem like you are in conflict with your spouse. Explain to your children that both parents still love them and emphasize what is happening is not their fault. Explain why you are breaking up in a generalized and softened matter that does not go into specifics and then explain the children’s new living arrangements in a way that will not produce anxiety.
Overall, children are sensitive and prone to emotional harm. Take this into consideration in how you proceed through a divorce. Less rancor with your spouse and calmly explaining the divorce to your kids can go a long way towards avoiding the worst effects divorce can have on children.