Florida has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation. And while this is a bad sign for spouses, it’s especially troubling for children. In fact, children of divorced parents are seven times more likely to suffer from the mental anguish of depression. However, with the right approach, a child can make it through the divorce process unscathed.
To help your child cope with a divorce, it’s important to identify the leading factors which contribute to distress, such as:
- Conflict between the parents
- Change in economic conditions
- Change in living conditions or education
- Parental loss
Avoiding these factors can help a child adjust more easily to the reality of divorce. For example, do not expose your children to post-divorce conflict. Try to keep arguments and legal discussions for adult time only. If you need to vent about your spouse or the divorce proceedings, save it for a therapy session or a conversation with an adult friend outside of the home. Further, try to minimize disruptions to a child’s daily routine. And most importantly, make sure each parent stays involved in the child’s life. If divorcing parents can work together harmoniously and reduce conflict, their child will certainly reap the benefits.
Another important step is to give your child a voice. A divorce is between two spouses, but it has an undeniable affect on the child as well. The child may feel helpless, angry, sad and anxious. However, if a child is allowed to voice his or her thoughts on important issues, such as living arrangements and visitation, the child will have a more positive experience with less painful memories.
If you are considering divorce, you may need help in finding solutions to issues such as custody (time sharing) and child support. If possible, you should attempt to resolve these family issues outside the confines of a courtroom. Hiring an experienced family law attorney can make all the difference.