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The effects of a collaborative divorce on your children


Resolving a divorce amicably through collaboration is typically a much better option for many parties. Litigation can and does often result in ongoing, hostile disputes between parents with children at the heart of the battle.

Although collaboration may be the better choice, children of certain mature ages may find it bewildering. Why are mommy and daddy getting a divorce? They don’t seem mad at each other. If they get along, maybe the divorce is my fault? Children are bound to ask these many other questions when their parents seemingly remain amicable and polite during the divorce process.

If you are a parent opting to pursue collaboration to resolve your divorce, you may want to consider providing an explanation to your children. Coming to an agreement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse about a few issues may help your children improve their understanding of the reasons behind the divorce.

Agree on the explanation

Remember that you will be parents forever and you need to maintain the relationship your children have with each of you. Decide on an explanation for the divorce that you believe will make sense to the kids and then present the narrative together. As parents, it’s important to make sure you emphasize that the split came about because of grownup problems and that the children were in no way to blame.

Squelch fantasies

Smaller children especially may fantasize about getting the two of you back together and living happily ever after. They may try to be better-behaved, thinking such good behavior may help mommy and daddy reunite. Some children also try to sabotage any new relationships their parents may develop. As a parent, you should make sure they understand the permanency of the divorce and how it is the beginning of a new chapter in life.

Shield children from conflict

Problems or disagreements can arise, even with amicable divorces. As a parent, it is important to make sure to shield your children—as much as possible—from witnessing conflicts. Also, avoid criticizing or vilifying the other parent in the presence of your child. Children, regardless of age, are extra sensitive during this time; their life is changing forever.

Seek assistance

Helping your children accept your collaborative divorce will be an ongoing effort for a long period of time. You are likely to experience problems and encounter hurdles during the process. And that’s ok. However, an attorney experienced with family law can be a tremendous advocate. Their support and advice can make a world of difference.

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