Divorce is never easy, especially for children. No matter what their age, children as the very least face confusion and lifestyle disruption – as well as pain and fear when learning that their parents are divorcing. To ease the tension as much as possible and help children get through the entire process, an experienced divorce attorney who specializes in cases where children are involved is every parent’s best partner.
Divorce From A Child’s Viewpoint
It is critical that parents help their children manage the pain of a divorce. An important first step is to accept that children view this event differently than adults. It is sad when parents attempt to influence their children to ‘take sides’ or harbor any kind of ill-feeling toward the other parent – that person is still that child’s parent and always will be. Children seldom naturally take sides in a divorce and an experienced attorney who handles divorce cases would urge their clients to refrain from trying to influence children one way or another.
Assuming The Adult Role
Children of divorcing parents often subconsciously attempt to get closer to their same sex parent like a best friend. Some even try to fill in the role of the divorcing spouse, which requires acknowledgment and understanding from parents. A child who attempts to take on the role of a parent – such as an older sibling who tries to parent younger ones or who begins to assume the role of the departing parent – is experiencing extreme levels of stress and should receive emotional support and counseling.
It is not uncommon for older children in particular to step and try to strengthen familial relationships on their own, to try to make everything all right, or attempt to influence the departing parent to not leave because it will destroy the family unit. Although such feelings and actions are not uncommon, it can influence a child’s emotional growth and should be addressed as soon as possible with professional counseling.
Emotionally Strained Situations
A divorce attorney advises clients to avoid unintentionally putting children in an emotionally strained position. It is important for parents to maintain a good relationship with their children by providing quality, one-on-one relationship building that does not push the child into an emotional triangle, stuck in the middle between two battling parents. This only creates more stress for everyone involved – especially the children.
Children are happier and healthier when they are allowed to develop close relationships with each parent separately, without any interference. Parents must remember that their feelings of anger, pain, or fear are often not the same as what their children are experiencing. Parents need to address their own emotions first in order to accurately understand how their children truly feel. Only then can parents truly help their children heal.
A divorce attorney also reminds their clients that once a child reaches adolescence, they may want to live with the non-custodial parent. This again is rather common and normal with children of divorced parents.
The skill and expertise of a divorce attorney through the tough road that leads to a divorce can be helpful to both parents and children because they are well aware that a couple’s children must be the top priority. Children need to have parents act in normal ways that allow all parties to recover from divorce with a loving parent-child relationship left intact. Children still need their parents – both of them – to get through such a trying time.
Reynaldo G. Garza, III
680 E. St Charles, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
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