Divorce in Wisconsin: Helping children deal with the changes

Experiencing the divorce of their parents is often challenging for children, but there are things people can do to help their kids cope with the changes.

As of 2013, one in two marriages ends in divorce, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Often, couples who make this difficult choice have children. While the end of a marriage may be challenging enough for the adults involved, it may be even more trying for their children. There is no way for parents to completely eliminate the upset that their children may feel as a result of their decision to divorce, but there are things they can do to help them cope with the changes.

Work together

When going through a divorce, it is common for spouses to be at odds with each other. However, it is important that they set their differences aside when it comes to their children, and talk to them together. This may help reassure the kids that they are not to blame for the divorce and that both parents will continue to be there for them. WebMD points out that continuing to parent as normal may help children feel more secure throughout the divorce process and after it has been finalized.

Avoid major changes

Experiencing the divorce of their parents may be adjustment enough for many children. As such, introducing other major changes, such as a move, may cause them further upset and impact how they cope. Therefore, WebMD recommends that parents maintain their children's regular routines and community ties as much as possible. By limiting the upheaval kids experience as a result of a divorce, parents may help them to better deal with the changes.

Keep the kids out of the adult issues

Processing a divorce may be challenging for children of all ages. If parents confide in them about adult issues, including financial matters, it may only add to their confusion and upset. Thus, it is advisable that parents avoid discussing adult issues such as child support or the division of their marital assets in front of their kids. Additionally, divorcing couples should refrain from fighting in front of their children. Research has shown that the children who have the most difficulty adjusting to divorce are those who are exposed to ongoing fighting between their parents, according to Parents magazine.

Encourage communication

Just as it may help adults, talking about how they are feeling and what is happening may be cathartic for children whose parents are divorcing. By answering their children's questions, parents may help ease their kids' anxieties over the divorce. Even if something difficult or upsetting for them to talk about, it is suggested that people address their children's concerns. This may help children to process what they are going through and parents to understand how their kids are coping.

Working with an attorney

The longer that Wisconsin divorces are drawn out, the more acrimonious they may become. This may serve to increase the stress and upset for those involved, particularly the children. Therefore, parents who are considering a divorce may benefit from obtaining legal representation. An attorney may advise them of their options and negotiate settlements on their behalf.