Filing for Divorce is Tough on Kids
While filing for a Colorado divorce or legal separation is challenging for the spouses, it can be even harder for the children involved. Kids usually don't have the emotional maturity to understand the complexity of adult relationships, and in their confusion about why mommy and daddy don't love each other anymore, they can sometimes even begin to blame themselves. While separating from each other is difficult for parents, it can be even worse for children because dividing what they believed is a happy family can seem unfathomable to them. Kids often see what is happening right now and believe that this is the way things will be from now on. They don't realize that although their lives are in disarray now, but over time things will normalize and everyone will begin regaining more stability and control.
Providing the Support Your Children Need
While a divorce is often one of the most painful experiences that a person can experience during their lifetime, it is important for parents who are in the process of divorcing to ensure that their children do not become the collateral damage of their separation. Parents must realize that children often feel out of control when watching their caregivers, and their primary source of safety and security, during the turmoil. During the entire process of divorce, it is imperative for both parents to provide consistent comfort and reassurance to their children. Kids need to know that despite their parents struggle with each other, that they will both still have enough time and enough love for their children.
Keeping Your Children Out of Your Divorce
But it is not enough for parents to provide comfort and reassurance directly to their children. They must also seek to keep the children from being too closely involved in the details of the divorce. Kids must not be asked to take sides and they should not be asked to be the go-betweens in their parent's separation. Parental alienation is damaging to children and it must be avoided. Both parents must be careful not to speak disparagingly about the child's other parent while the child is present. Divorce can be a hurtful process, and both parents must take care not to hurt their children's relationship with the other parent.
Being Healthy for Your Kids
Parents must recognize how important it is for them to stay emotionally healthy for their kids during the divorce. It is not usual for people to become immersed in their own suffering and to forget how frightening that can be to a child. Make sure that you are not talking to your kids about your divorce and sharing your struggles with them, but instead you are talking to trusted friends, family, and/or a counselor. During the pain of a divorce, it is a wise choice to have a strong support system because it will allow you to interact with other adults who can help you get through this challenge. Sharing your problems with the other adults in your life can also help to keep you strong and stable for your kids who need you now more than ever before. Your children need your attention and they will be looking to you to provide they stability they need. You must stay strong to make them feel safe.
Following the Terms of Your Parenting Agreement
Money is often a point of contention in a divorce, and divorcing parents may sometimes try to deny parenting time to the child's other parent if child support is not being paid according to the terms of the court order. It is important to know that Colorado law is very clear that parenting time and child support are two separate issues and the courts recognize how important it is for children to have consistent parenting time with both of their parents. Parents need to adhere to the terms of their parenting agreement. If child support has not been paid, do not use your children as pawns because there are many legal strategies available to help you resolve issues regarding child support.
Protecting Your Child's Future
Divorce is hard for everyone, but it is an adult problem. Protect your kids from your divorce by making sure that they know they are, and will continue to be, loved by both parents. Seek to protect them from your struggles by reassuring them that you are both there for them and everything is going to be ok. Let them know that adult relationships are sometimes hard, and they can be stressful, but even though you may not be living under the same roof, you will always be a family. Take that concept to heart and allow your kids to love and respect their other parent. No matter what happened with your and your former spouse, it is a problem you share, and your kids don't need to know all the details. They just need to know that they are free to love and be loved by both of their parents.