Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC
Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC

What does divorce look like from a child’s perspective?

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2017 | Divorce

Most California residents expect their marriages to last the rest of their lifetimes when they become official spouses. However, reality often includes marital problems, and some couples eventually determine the best solution is to sever their marital ties. For those with children, it often creates many challenges regarding family life and future parenting plans. Another significant issue lies in how children may react to their parents’ divorce. While some appear unscathed by such developments, others need counseling and outside support to help them make a smooth transition.

Like most parents, you simply want what’s best for your children. When it comes to your decision to divorce, you may find it necessary to use a bit of creative thinking and enlist the help of others to provide for your children’s needs and help them reach their full potentials as you enter a new lifestyle together.

Children often see things differently than adults

Hopefully, the lines of communication between you and your children are open and they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and emotions with you. If not, you are certainly not alone, as many other parents experience strains in their relationships with their children while going through a divorce as well. With their best interests at heart, you can take steps to help children navigate uncertain ground. The following are a few facts regarding children and divorce that may help:

  • Girls typically identify most with their mothers, and boys their fathers, when parents are going through a divorce. This fact can provide insight if you happen to be the parent of the opposite sex and you feel a strain in your relationship with a particular child.
  • Children love both their parents. Although it is your right to make adult decisions, it’s generally best to understand that you are the one getting divorced, not your children. The court is also generally of the opinion that children fare best when provided ample opportunities to maintain active and healthy relationships with both parents after divorce.
  • Many children try to fill the voids they believe are present in a parent’s life by trying to step in and take over certain areas, such as disciplining siblings or attempting to alleviate a parent’s loneliness.
  • Children often think their parents’ divorce is their fault in some way. It’s crucial parents convey a message to their children that correct such misperceptions.
  • Many children experience severe stress when they feel pit against one parent by the other. Using children as go-betweens or constantly speaking negatively about the other parent within their hearing can prove to be counter-productive if your goal is to help your children adjust to your divorce in as healthy a manner as possible.

No two families are the same, and everyone’s divorce situation is different. On top of the personal issues you are likely to face, state laws regarding such matters often vary and California regulations may bear significant impact on your settlement. Therefore, it’s typically best to research state guidelines regarding child custody, visitation, child support, etc., before moving forward with proceedings.

Parents seeking answers to particular questions or in need of clarification of specific terminology or laws can find support by discussing their situations with experienced family law attorneys. A family law attorney is used to addressing all aspects of family-related issues in conjunction with divorce proceedings and can protect your rights and see to it that your children’s best interests are a focal point of the process.

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