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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law

How to help children thrive during a divorce

For most parents, the wellbeing of their children is their primary concern, even when going through a divorce. Though a divorce is often traumatic for the children involved, it doesn't have to be so. Parents in California can ensure their children come through the divorce unscathed by realizing that issues pertaining to the divorce and custody shouldn't be discussed with children.

Children need to know they can still love both of their parents and don't need to be privy to the details of their parents' financial situation, delinquent payments, child custody & support, monthly payments, agreement modification, and everyday expenses. Though the custodial parent may be exasperated with the process, topics like the penalty for failure to pay child support are not something that should be discussed with children. They also need to be reassured that they can share their anger or happiness with their other parent without having to shoulder their parent's emotions as well as their own.

Even in the midst of a difficult divorce, parents should continue to do things together as a family, including attending events related to the children's education and celebrating birthday parties and weddings. Regardless of income or financial situation, providing structure and security for children enables them to continue on with their lives without being damaged by their parents' legal battles. Children thrive with consistency. Though parents may disagree, it's in the best interest of their children for rules to be the same, or as close as possible, at both parents' houses. Different rules in each household will only confuse children.

It's easy to get caught up in overwhelming emotions when going through a divorce. By reassuring children that they were not the cause of the divorce, parents can help their children get through the process unharmed.

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