Helping Your Child Through a Divorce
Going through a divorce is challenging in any scenario, however when children are involved this adds another issue to contend with. For many, this is unknown territory so having to explain this to children can certainly be difficult. Particularly when emotions are already very high. Thanks to my experience in family law and dealing with many relationship breakdowns, where children have been at the centre, I have a great understanding of how divorce can affect children. It is important children understand what is going to change in their lives and what the future may hold for your family. There are many great tips and resources to use which will help your children through your divorce process.
Tips for emotional support
When supporting your children during your divorce it is vital that they are communicated with throughout the process and that you have answers to any of their questions. Although it may be difficult to face discussing this situation with them, it will provide them an understanding of what is happening and why.
Many online forums, books, advice groups and organisations offer their advice for supporting your children through divorce. If you are struggling to explain the divorce process to your children or have very young children and do not know how to approach this, remember you are not alone. These resources are great and can be accessed at any time throughout the process.
The NSPCC are able to offer some great tips on ways you can show support to your children during this difficult time, such as:
• Reminding your children how much they are loved by both parents
• Be honest with your children but always bear in mind their age
• Do not share your negative feelings towards each other with your children
• Stick to their normal routine, including school and mealtimes
• Explain to them that it is okay to be sad and cry sometimes, making sure they feel comfortable to speak to you about their emotions
• Listen to them and have answers ready for their questions
Often children’s books, written to explain the situation, can be a great tool, particularly for younger children who may find this easier to understand.
How the courts decide
Where an agreement or decision can not be reached through mediation and formal discussion, as favoured by solicitors when dealing with cases involving children, legal proceedings will follow. There are a range of applications which can be made to the courts to decide what is best for your children. This includes:
A Child Arrangements Order – this will be used to determine where children should live or how their time should be spent.
Prohibited Steps Order – which prevents one parent acting in a way which the other disagrees with e.g., changing a child’s surname
Specific issue order – if a parent disagrees about a specific issue e.g., which school a child can attend then the court can make an order
Taking children out of the country (jurisdiction) – if one parent wishes to take a child to live in another country and the other does not agree then it is necessary to apply to the court for “leave” (permission) from the court to do so.
Cheshire based divorce solicitor
As an experienced divorce solicitor, I am very mindful of ensuring an arrangement is found for any children involved which meets their best interests. It is so important we keep children out of parental conflict whilst going through the divorce process. I will help in any way I can to ensure complete this process together with the least amount of stress caused for both yourselves, as parents, and your children.
I have considerable experience in dealing with a number of cases involving children, from family court proceedings to assisting grandparents make contact with their grandchildren. Get in touch with me today if you are seeking the guidance of a professional and experienced family law solicitor based in Cheshire.