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Worried about telling your children you're getting divorced?

Most Texas parents would agree that modern-day parenting is not for the faint of heart. Families often face significant challenges prompted by various pressures and influences in society, from racial, ethnic and gender issues to financial crises and myriad relationship quandaries. On top of all that, many marriages end in divorce nowadays, which adds all sorts of stress to the picture. If you're currently preparing for divorce and worried about how your children will react to your decision, you are definitely not alone.

Many other parents understand what it's like to go from being part of a two-parent household to suddenly becoming a single parent (some with no immediate means of regular income). It's understandable that you want what is best for your children. The fact is, some people decide that what's best for their kids includes their own quests for mental stability and emotional good health, which, they may determine, necessitates divorce.

Navigating rough waters

Most parents realize that a divorce will seriously impact their children. However, many families are able to move forward to successful and happy futures through willingness to amicably work together to help children adapt and to provide for their emotional, physical and spiritual needs. The following ideas may help you and your children through a challenging time:

  • Remember that some information is for adult ears only. Although you may want to be as open and honest as possible when discussing your divorce with your children, it's typically best to keep such conversations simple and to the point so as not to give them more than they can handle emotionally.
  • If you have children of various ages, you can speak to them separately, providing information according to each one's level of maturity.
  • Most child psychologists, court officials, ministers etc. say it's best to avoid speaking negatively about your former spouse in front of your children. They love both their parents, and hearing one talk badly about the other can cause undue stress.
  • It is crucial for children to understand that their parents' divorce is not their fault. You know your children well and can determine how best to convey this message to them.
  • Most children fare best when given the opportunity to maintain close and healthy relationships with both parents after divorce. Anything you can say or do to promote this idea will likely be of benefit.

Basically, it often helps to let your children know you're available to answer questions and discuss anything that might be troubling them with regard to the substantial changes their lives (and yours) will undergo. Some parents encourage their children to write in journals; in fact, many adults find such exercises therapeutic as well. The bottom line is that every family's situation is unique and parents may need to reach out for support to help their children navigate the divorce process.

One of the best personal advocates you can have on your side at times like these is an experienced Texas family law attorney. From guiding you toward resources to help your children adapt to providing skilled negotiation or aggressive litigation as needed, an attorney can help you achieve a fair and agreeable settlement while keeping your children's best interests at heart.

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