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Ways you can reduce divorce stress on your children

Most people understand that divorce in a family with children will impact those children. Children can develop social, educational and emotional issues in the wake of a divorce. Feelings of anxiety, abandonment or fear about the loss of love are all common responses.

Thankfully, you and your spouse can take steps before, during and after your divorce towards reducing the amount of impact it has on the children. Educating yourself about how to support your children's emotional recovery after a divorce could help you minimize the fallout of ending your marriage.

Don't drag the kids into the middle of your divorce

The most important thing you can do to protect your children is to leave them out of the drama of the divorce as much as possible. You should not disparage the other parent to them or in front of them. Discussing your feelings and your reasons for divorce is something you should do with trusted friends in private. Talking poorly about your ex to your children could harm their relationship with the other parent and also damage the way they view and interact with you.

You generally shouldn't involve your children in custody disagreements. While you and your ex likely both want to see your kids as much as possible, you shouldn't ask your children to decide between you or to gather information about your spouse during a visit. Instead, just ask your children what they did and do your best to remain positive and supportive.

You should also try to keep yourself from getting visibly angry with your ex when you interact with one another. You are likely going to exchange custody regularly with your ex and also see him or her at special events, like sporting competitions or grade school concerts. If possible, do everything in your power to keep your interactions with your ex pleasant or at least professional.

Colorado courts want what is best for your children

It's important to keep in mind that the best interests of your children will guide how the courts decide on custody issues in your case. Excluding situations involving addiction, abandonment or abuse, the courts generally favor shared custody between parents. In the eyes of the courts, an ongoing relationship with both parents is in the best interest of most children after a divorce.

It's important to remember that child custody is about the kids and not about you. No matter how you may feel about your ex, you should focus on what your kids need before every decision. If you make it clear that your focus is what's best for the children, that will only reinforce your ability to parent in the eyes of the courts. Fighting your ex at every turn and refusing to work together as parents could actually harm your custody case.

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Mary Kay Kramer, P.C.
1820 West Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80904

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