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In a divorce what should and shouldn’t I do as a parent?

Divorce can be a scary and confusing time for children. Understanding how to help them through the process can be an invaluable tool for any parent.

To help children to understand the meaning of divorce for them, it is a good idea to sit down with them and your spouse (if possible) and explain to them that you are separating in a way that they will understand. It is important to reassure them that you both still love them and that they are in no way to blame for your decision to separate. Listen to and answer any questions or concerns that they may have and tell them that it’s OK to feel sad or angry.

Explain to them that you and your spouse both still have a relationship with them and the fact that you will live apart doesn’t change this. You could also tell them that you’re both OK and they shouldn’t feel any type of burden to look after either of you. It’s also important to make sure that you keep other changes to a minimum and keep the family rules that you’ve always had.

Mother having discussion with son

Criticising the other parent or complaining to your children about your spouse can result in negative feelings of anger or resentment from your children and you should try to maintain an amicable relationship with your spouse in front of them.

It’s important not to use older children as a ‘sounding board’ or ask for their advice.

For more information on this subject please visit our Legal Library.


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