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How to help your children adapt to a post-divorce lifestyle

Parenting is often a rewarding, adventurous experience although, in most cases, not without its challenges. Various life circumstances and extenuating factors may greatly affect your ability to parent well. Like most good parents in California or elsewhere, you always have your kids' best interests in mind. Some situations require special focus and attention, such as breaking the news to your children that you plan to divorce.  

Your divorce doesn't necessarily mean your children's lives will be ruined; however, it helps to have a plan in mind to support them as they come to terms with the situation and move on to a new lifestyle. Speaking with other parents who have navigated similar circumstances in the past can help. It's also a good idea to seek clarification of your rights as a parent and to know where to seek support if a legal problem arises that impedes your ability to parent your children as you see fit.  

Ideas for helping your children cope with your divorce 

A critical factor toward providing support to your children during divorce is to make sure they understand your marital break-up is not their fault. Also, even though you assume your children know you love them, at times like this, they need to hear it straight from you. The following ideas may be useful as you consider ways to help your kids move forward in life after your divorce: 

  • Letting your kids know they are free to share their feelings, even if they feel angry, worried or frustrated, is a major positive factor in helping them adapt to a post-divorce lifestyle. If your kids think you'll be upset with them if they share their true feelings, it may complicate your relationship with them.  
  • It's also a good idea to provide various means for your children to express themselves. Some kids love to write, while others are more demonstrative in nature. Allowing your children to access resources that help them come to terms with their own emotions is a definite step in the right direction when going through divorce.  
  • There are existing support networks that may be of assistance to your family. From community-based family support groups to private counseling with a licensed psychologist or faith leader, you can tap into one or all options available in your area.  
  • Connecting with an experienced family law attorney can be helpful as well, especially if your former spouse is not cooperating with your proposed or existing parenting plan.  

Most children are able to continue in life without serious repercussions following divorce if they know their parents are there to support them and are willing to compromise and cooperate with each other to do what's best for them.  

If that's not the case 

Facing contentious child custody, visitation or support issues can not only cause you personal stress but it can also negatively impact your children's lives as well. Most times, the sooner you take action to rectify such problems, the better. Many California parents rely on experienced legal representation to obtain as swift and agreeable a solution as possible in a given set of circumstances. 

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