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How to help children through a divorce

Pennsylvania parents who are ending their marriage might be concerned about how their children will react to the situation. If possible, parents should be together when they talk to their children about it. Primarily, they should reassure their children that they are loved. When children have questions, parents should answer in a way that promotes a sense of security.

Parents should also avoid conflict in front of their children even if they are fighting in private. They should not involve children in the divorce by sharing details they do not need to know or by being negative about the other parent. Some children might benefit from family or individual counseling. Parents may also want to consider the timing of the divorce. For example, some may want to do so during the school year so that they can take care of divorce matters during the day while children are in class.

It may be necessary to create temporary custody and child support orders until the final orders are in place after the divorce. One option parents may want to explore is having children continue to live in the house while they rotate in and out. Parents may also want to consider a collaborative divorce instead of litigation since this may reduce conflict and be less expensive.

A parent who is considering divorce and who is concerned about issues around child custody and support might want to speak to an attorney. If the parent is concerned about addiction or domestic abuse, the other parent might only be allowed supervised visitation or may not be allowed access to the child at all. In more amicable situations, parents might decide to share physical custody 50/50, and if this is the case, neither may owe support.

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