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5 Things Parents Can Do To Protect Kids During Divorce

Divorce is difficult; there is no denying that. However, there are options to make it less contentious and less painful not just for the spouses going through it, but also for their children.

Children have virtually no control over what happens when parents divorce, so it is crucial for parents to take steps to protect them. There are a number of ways to do this, inside and outside the courtroom.

  1. Opting for mediation-Mediation is a more peaceful option to resolve the various issues related to divorce. Mediation requires parents to work together to find resolutions, as opposed to litigation which can involve parents battling against each other in an effort to "win".
  2. Keeping fights out of earshot-You and your soon-to-be ex will likely get into arguments during a divorce, but getting into these fights in front of the kids can be traumatic. If you are going to fight, make sure the kids are elsewhere or hash disputes out in writing.
  3. Prioritizing their needs-During a divorce, kids need to feel safe, loved and supported. Putting these needs ahead of your feelings about the other parent can ensure you are both there for the children during this difficult time.
  4. Having age-appropriate discussions about the divorce-Talking to your kids about the divorce can be difficult, but necessary. Make sure you keep the information and details limited to what they need to know and can understand.
  5. Give them an outlet to express themselves-This might include speaking with a therapist, spending more time with friends or taking up new hobbies. As long as they are healthy and safe, these and other outlets can be helpful.

These and other tips can help you protect your kids during divorce and make it easier for them to cope with the difficult transition ahead.

Understand that you are not alone in this process. You can lean on friends and family members for support and talk to a counselor or therapist. You can also work with an attorney during the process who can manage the legal details and procedures so you can focus on yourself and your children. 

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