Divorce is a challenging process, not just for the couple involved, but significantly for any children they may have. As a Family Law Solicitor, I, Michelle Crilly, have seen first-hand the emotional and psychological impact that parental separation can have on children. This article aims to shed light on the importance of maintaining contact with children during a divorce and offers practical advice for parents navigating this difficult journey.
Understanding the Child’s Perspective
During a divorce, children often experience a range of emotions, including confusion, guilt, sadness, and anger. They might feel torn between both parents or worry about the future. It’s crucial for parents to understand these emotions and provide their children with a stable and supportive environment.
Legal Aspects of Child Custody and Visitation
The legal system prioritises the best interests of the child when determining custody and visitation rights. As a solicitor, I advise parents to familiarise themselves with these legal concepts. Custody doesn’t just determine where the child lives; it also involves decisions about the child’s education, health, and general welfare. Visitation, on the other hand, pertains to how the non-custodial parent will spend time with the child.
Practical Advice for Parents
- Open Communication: Keep the lines of communication open with your children. Encourage them to express their feelings and assure them that both parents will continue to love and support them.
- Consistent Routines: Try to maintain consistency in their daily routines. Stability in their schedule can provide a sense of security during this time of change.
- Co-parenting: If possible, work collaboratively with your ex-partner in parenting decisions. Presenting a united front helps minimise stress and confusion for the children.
- Avoid Conflict in Front of Children: Shield your children from any conflicts or legal discussions. They should not feel like they have to choose sides.
- Seek Professional Help: Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if your child is struggling to cope with the divorce. Counseling can provide them with a safe space to work through their emotions.
For more information or to discuss your specific circumstances, feel free to contact my office.
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