How Can I Make Sure My Kids will be OK After Divorce?
When families go through a divorce, everyone is impacted. The pain and stress of the experience can be difficult, and as a parent, you will want to do all you can to help your kids both during and after the process. During the case, you may be thinking: How can I ensure my kids will be OK after Divorce?
Keeping Your Children Out of the Case
Divorce is hard on children, and depending on their ages, they may be more aware of the situation than you realize. This is a tense situation for everyone involved, and it's important to maintain perspective and do what you can to keep your children out of the case. This means not talking about case details in their presence and being mindful of why you are making decisions.
You may be angry with one another, but that does not necessarily mean you should be fighting over placement time, legal custody, or child support. You and your ex should be making choices with their best interest in mind.
When both parents are safe, Wisconsin law supports them having shared decision-making authority (legal custody) and placement time (physical custody) with their kids. Don't mix up your feelings about your ex with making choices regarding your children. Putting them into your disputes without reason will only hurt them during and after the divorce.
Getting Your Kids (And You) Help When Needed
Divorce can be traumatic for both parents and children. This is not an ordinary situation, and you and your kids may have difficulty adjusting to your circumstances and managing your emotions. If you or your kids are struggling to cope with the stress of the divorce at any stage, it may help to talk with an experienced therapeutic professional. Having the support of a therapist or counselor may help your family navigate their feelings and experiences both during and after the divorce. Having a neutral person to talk with may also provide you and your kids with a safe environment to process emotions in your own way.
Boundaries matter both during and after divorce. While your case is pending, you are going to want to keep your children out of case-related discussions. You will also want to restrict comments about your ex and the divorce to environments where you will not be overheard. Your kids are already in a very painful situation, and they need you to provide safety and stability during this confusing and chaotic time.
After the divorce, there may be times when you let down your guard or feel overwhelmed. No one is perfect, and there may be times when you can feel yourself slipping into an inappropriate discussion or making negative comments around your kids. If possible, take a breath before you do so and walk away. You will not be doing yourself or your kids any favors by going down this road. By maintaining boundaries, you can help your kids feel secure both during and after your divorce.
Being Patient with and Taking Care of You
Getting through a divorce with kids isn't easy, and things won't magically resolve themselves overnight when the case ends. If you and your ex have tension and resentment, it may last for some time. However, it can get better and easier to manage.
You have been through a lot, and it's important to be patient with yourself as you heal and adjust to your new circumstances. Don't impose unrealistic expectations on yourself to be “over it” immediately. You should also be taking care of yourself. Ask friends and family for support. Make sure you are getting adequate rest and nutrition. Take time for yourself, even if it's a 5-minute walk.
Your kids need you to be well and to set an example of how to manage their feelings healthily. When they see their parent taking positive steps to cope with their emotions, it can help provide comfort and support for them. In other words, you can help support your kids by making sure you are taking care of yourself.
Contact an Experienced Wisconsin Divorce Attorney
Wisconsin Attorney and Mediator Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law is an attorney and Mediator with the experience you need to help you both during and after your Wisconsin divorce or child custody case. She understands the complexities of navigating divorce and child custody. If you have a case in Metro Milwaukee, Waukesha, or Brookfield, please contact us today and let us take a “first look” at your situation.