Going through a separation when there are children involved is a stressful experience. However, there are ways to maintain neutrality and peace if each parent is dedicated to the process. Staying amicable may feel like the most difficult thing in the world if the relationship came to an end in less-than-nice circumstances, but children make it worth the effort. This guide takes a look at some top tips for staying amicable after a split so as to minimise the negative impact on the kids.
Family counselling is one option, but as parents, it is worth investing in sessions for just the two of you. This could be through a mediation programme or a private specialist. The focus will be to have a safe space to talk through concerns in a neutral zone where the third party imparts no judgment, only constructive guidance. While you may not find a resolution, especially in the early days, the mindset shift towards making it all about the children and their well-being will be beneficial for both parties. Agree on some strategies and vent in a healthy environment away from small ears.
Change is inevitable, but it does not have to be all-consuming. There will be a new custody arrangement, but children (if they are old enough) should have a voice in that. It won’t be smooth sailing; however, ensuring that things like where they go to school or where they live to remain consistent will be a major help while navigating this big life alteration.
A professional expert to enable good decision-making and take the lead during the aftermath of the decision to separate will be invaluable. It is vital to hire the right firm for your personal situation. For example, these divorce lawyers in London focus on male clients looking for fair representation. A good solicitor in your corner will create less turbulence throughout the core moments moving forward and keep the focus on what’s important, i.e., the well-being of the minors in the family.
Making this transitional period come to pass with minimal trauma and negativity is the only thing that matters when you consider what your children might need. The impact of a messy divorce on their current and future well-being is extremely detrimental. It can affect everything from their ability to maintain healthy romantic relationships to their mental health coping mechanisms. It is vital that this time is handled with caution and care above all else.
Yet, none of the above will matter in the slightest if you break this last point of guidance. Trash talk means talking down or being derogatory about the other parent either in front of the children or directly to them in conversation. This is bound to encourage similar behaviour from the children and empower them to use similar language and thought patterns in their own social circles. It will inevitably lead to dark thoughts and feelings and could even make them feel responsible or with a desire to become a ‘fixer’. Separation brings up a whole load of raw emotions, ones which are understandably difficult to regulate and that is why it is crucial to have adult channels to vent and leave the children to affirm their own viewpoints unbiased and unscorned.
Remaining amicable for your children may feel like trying to climb a ladder and never reaching the top. It will require inhuman levels of patience and consideration, and it is made more difficult if one parent does not comply. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing, because children deserve a safe space through a troublesome time.