Payne & Associates, PLLC

Once a divorce is finalized, it is easy to sigh in relief and think "Finally, that's over." But the reality is that divorce is only the end of a marriage. It does not end your time as a parent or your responsibility to care for your children.

Remember: divorce is just as hard for the children, if not harder. It is usually distressing for children to watch their parents split up. While it may be difficult for you to remain cordial around your ex-spouse, you both need to focus on the fact that you are doing this for your children.

Here are 4 ways to help kids transition and feel supported after a divorce:

1. Keep negative emotions and conflict to a minimum.

Even after a divorce, you will probably interact with your ex-spouse regularly. You will see each other at school plays, sports games or other activities, when you drop children off for visits and other such events. Remaining polite and calm around your ex-spouse goes a long way toward showing your children that their lives and well-being are more important than your conflicts with their other parent.

2. Never vent to your children about your ex-spouse or your past marriage.

It is common to harbor feelings of resentment or bitterness toward an ex-spouse and the conflicts that came up while you headed for divorce. However, venting about these things to children can make them feel guilty and cause great distress if they feel that they need to pick sides between their parents. If you need to vent, go to a close friend or a counselor instead.

3. Do not use your kids as messengers.

Never ask your children to deliver messages when they visit their other parent. If there is something you need to discuss or tell your ex, contact them or meet up with them on your own time. Children do not want to feel trapped in the middle and your efforts to reach out to your ex about important matters can show children how much effort you are putting in to supporting them.

4. Keep things consistent.

The time after a divorce can feel very unstable for children. Keeping rules and routines consistent between you and your ex is important. Discuss things such as bedtimes, meal times, rules of the house and other matters to keep both households similar. Kids appreciate knowing exactly what they can expect.

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Payne & Associates, PLLC
206 North Spruce Street, Suite 1B
Winston Salem, NC 27101

Phone: 336-283-2937
Fax: 336-217-8784
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