Stuart N. House, P.A.

Telling Your Children You’re Divorcing

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Divorce Lawyer's Take on This All-Important Conversation

Children often are the most vulnerable parties during a divorce. Parents who decide to end their marriage are typically required to work out a custody agreement and divide financial responsibilities for the childcare at the time of the divorce. Child custody and welfare issues are typically very emotionally charged, and parents may become deeply entrenched in a battle against each other that may ultimately have an adverse effect on the children. While most divorces are not easy, the following suggestions could help reduce the stress children may feel when they learn their parents are divorcing.

AV Preeminent

Deliver the news simultaneously

Parents often believe they should tell the older children about the divorce while withholding the information from the younger children for as long as possible. However, doing so may be more taxing than helpful. The older children may be more inclined to feel burdened by the responsibility of keeping such a heavy secret. Younger children may interpret the family's secrecy as an indication that they are unable to effectively handle life's serious problems.

End the marriage quickly after telling the kids

Divorces can drag on for several months or even years, which can be especially difficult for children. Therefore, parents should be certain that they are ready to end the marriage quickly before telling the kids. Working together peacefully to iron out potentially contested issues can expedite the process. Parents should consult an experienced Coral Springs divorce attorney for additional guidance on how to end their marriage with as few delays as possible.

Plan ahead

Most children will remember the moment they learned about their parents' intent to divorce long into their adulthood. Therefore, parents should not take the way in which they break the news lightly. Spouses may wish to write down what they intend to say and set ground rules in the interest of avoiding upsetting the children unnecessarily. Not fighting and avoiding pressuring the children to choose sides are basic ground rules that should be included in the plan. Parents who cannot come together to have the conversation with their children simultaneously may opt to schedule separate conversations with the children; however, each parent must follow the same ground rules.

Don't assume a child's reaction

Children who are aware of hostility between their parents may respond to news of a divorce positively if they are eager to have a peaceful home environment. Others may react with sadness if they do not want their daily home life to change. Many children react with a mixture of positive and negative feelings. Children are naturally inquisitive and can especially be expected to have questions during a life-altering process like divorce. Therefore, parents should avoid making assumptions and simply listen, allow the child to communicate his or her reaction honestly, and provide answers to the best of their ability.

Don't assign blame

Parents should exercise maturity and both accept their role in the decision to divorce when explaining to children. Doing so makes children less likely to blame themselves for the divorce. Parents also appear to be on more of a united front in their approach to parenting when they are able to discuss the changes the family will be experiencing together.

Divorce is typically not a fast process; therefore, parents should anticipate having multiple follow-up conversations with their children in addition to spending more time with them. From a legal standpoint, retaining an experienced divorce lawyer can also help ease the transition, as the attorney can help facilitate communications between both sides and the court.

Managing Emotions Key to Managing Divorce Case

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Anyone who has supported a friend or loved one through a divorce knows how emotionally charged the process can be no matter how long the marriage may have lasted. In addition to dividing a household, the parties often are required to divide their financial assets, personal property, and create child support and child custody arrangements. Making these decisions is often challenging for Parkland residents who have decided they are no longer able to continue their marriage peacefully. While the temptation to be led by emotion during this time may seem unavoidable, there are several advantages to managing your emotions throughout the divorce process in Jupiter.

AV Preeminent

The Process Likely will be Faster

Your dissolution of marriage lawyer will tell you that in many instances, critical aspects of a divorce take place outside the Coral Springs courtroom. For example, parties who are able to communicate and agree on how their assets would be divided can save time by not requiring the judge to make all decisions. Your divorce lawyer can help you determine your end goals and the most ideal outcome for your situation. He or she can even help you communicate professionally with your spouse's attorney, which is particularly helpful if speaking directly to your spouse would otherwise be less productive.

The judge will view you more favorably

Florida's family court judges are often permitted to exercise their own discretion when hearing divorce cases. Therefore, you need to make a positive impression on the court. By remaining calm and articulating your position clearly with the assistance and support of your attorney, the judge would be more likely to understand what you are asking for, and therefore would be better able to make a decision that is in your favor.

The court cannot 'unhear' an emotional outburst

When appearing before a court, first impressions are more important than ever. While it is understandable that people's emotions can be highly volatile when divorcing, uncontrolled anger and poor decision making could undoubtedly impact the court's perception. Therefore, it pays to think prior to speaking and acting. Failure to do so could directly limit your desired outcome, especially if a father's rights are being considered.

The divorce could be less stressful

While you cannot control the person you are divorcing, you can control yourself. Carefully considering your reactions and discussing your concerns with your lawyer can help you better manage your stress level. In return, you would be much less likely to say things you may later regret. Focusing on healthy eating, exercise, and living a balanced lifestyle could further help you manage your emotions and achieve a more favorable outcome in your case.