Advice For Handling A Separation With Children Involved

Working through a separation or divorce with an ex-partner when you have children together can be a difficult and emotional situation for all those involved. If you’re in the process of a separation or you’re considering a separation, the wellbeing of your child will at the forefront of your mind. Many parents are worried about how the separation will affect their children emotionally, so we will also cover how to help them through the process. Keep reading to find out more.

Arranging Co-Parenting With An Ex-Partner

In order for both parents to spend quality time in their children’s lives, you will need to come to an arrangement regarding co-parenting and which of you the children will live with, as well how much time they will spend at each household. It’s important for the children to be able to spend time with both parents if they wish to do so, if possible, it’s best to be on amicable terms with the other co-parent. Try and include your children in the decision-making process, asking them where they would like to stay for certain days. It’s good for both parents to have equal opportunities for days out and to make memories with their children and it will benefit the child.

Routines

Having set routines will help your children adjust to the changes caused by a separation and give them a sense of stability. Once routines have been put in place for how their time will be spent between parents and households, try and stick to these routines to avoid confusing and unsettling the children.

Child Arrangement Orders

However, we understand it’s not always possible to have a good relationship with an ex-partner following a separation. In this case, you could consider setting up child arrangement orders. Contact solicitors who specialise in family law so that you can help understand the legal process. Experts such as the National Legal Service could provide advice and resources. This creates guidance for how the children will be spending their time between parents, where the children will live, and how many hours they will spend per household.

Explaining A Separation To Your Children

One of the most difficult parts of separation, when children are involved, is explaining it to them. There could be difficult questions that arise and hurt feelings, and you may be worried that your children will hold the separation against you. However, it’s important to remember that you’re making the best choice for your family, and helping your children understand this will help them cope with the separation.

Have an open and honest conversation with your children about why you’re separating and make them aware that none of it is their fault. Children may struggle to comprehend why two adults have grown apart or no longer love each other. They could also be worried about what is involved in a separation and what this would mean about where they will be living and spending their time. If possible, it’s a good idea to try and break the news to them with both parents at the same time, so both of you are able to answer any questions they may have and provide comfort.

Making Sure Your Children Are Emotionally Supported

If your children are finding the separation particularly hard to understand and it’s taking an emotional toll on them, then as well as your own support you could consider getting them professional counselling. A professional children’s councillor will be able to help them work through the emotions that are sometimes stirred up following a separation. They will also be able to equip them with the tools to handle any strong emotions they may have developed, such as anger, resentment, or bitterness.

Handling Anger Or Resentment From Older Children Over Separation

It’s not a given that your children will struggle emotionally with separation, but also know that it’s completely normal for them to feel angry and that it is not your fault. Sitting them down and explaining the situation to them, and explaining why it happened will help them to understand. Sometimes, it also takes time for them to adjust to the new lifestyle following a separation.

The Importance Of Communication

Communication is important not just with your children but with your ex-partner too. If you’re co-parenting, there will need to be some basic level of communication ideally. It also sets a good example for your children if you can be amicable around each other when you need to be. Furthering any conflict will make the situation far more difficult for them.

Splitting Possessions

As your children will be spending time between two households, they will need their own possessions in both places. Allow your children to be involved in this decision, letting them pick what they would like to keep at certain places.

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