Divorce is never an easy thing to go through – it can be a very sad time indeed and is likely to be peppered with lots of difficult discussions and arguments. However if you have children together, it is essential that you keep the split as amicable as possible, but children can throw in an extra set of challenges. Children will obviously get very upset by a divorce so you owe it to them to handle the situation with dignity and compassion. You may well have your own issues with your partner but that is not for the children to get involved with – never allow them to be turned into pawns in your game, it’s just not fair on them and it’ll do a lot of damage. If you are about to go through a divorce and you have children then you may like to read our guide to getting through it with the minimum of damage.
Agree Who Is To Be the Primary Carer with Your Partner
The biggest thing you will have to agree on is who the children will primarily reside with. Often, but not always, this is the mother. If you can agree on this then the rest should fall into place pretty easily. The two of you need to sit down together, away from the children, and have a conversation about the future of your children. Both of you need to try and be as obliging as possible and try to keep your personal problems towards each other out of the discussion – it’s just not relevant. You two have a duty to ensure that your children are happy and healthy, so let this lead the conversation. If you hit problems then it will need to be decided by the courts – and we’re sure you’d rather agree it between yourselves.
Agree the Terms
The more you can agree with your partner without the need for a lawyer to intervene, the less you will both end up spending on legal fees. Once you have established who is to be the primary carer, you then need to agree access terms for the other parent. This can work in your favor if you have problems with childcare etc. so make sure you both approach the discussion from the same angle. Both parents have a right to spend time with their children, so even if you can’t be in the same room with your partner it still needs to be agreed somehow.
Speak to the Children
Children hate nothing more than being shut out of what is going on – they are bound to pick up on the fact that there are problems. Keep them involved and let them know what is happening, and why. Explain it to them in ways that are suitable for their ages, and reassure them that mummy and daddy still love them and that everything will be okay. They will be feeling very unsettled so expect there to be a few fallouts along the way.
Splitting up is hard for everyone involved, but focusing on the happiness and welfare of your children should be your utmost priority at all times.
This post has been authored by Rachel Dawes who writes about Nishad Khan P.L., an expert business law attorney.