How can parents help their children through the divorce?
Eric Higgins’ Answer:
All too often, parties use their children as pawns in a divorce case – and in the long run, it’s going to do damage to their children. Unless you’re dealing with infants, kids are sponges: they hear things, they see things, and they pick up vibes from their parents. You’ve got to do whatever you can to insulate your kids as much as possible from the issues going on between parents in a divorce. When you’re talking to your kids, you have to be honest with them in an age-appropriate manner. Obviously, you don’t want to go into detail – and telling them that their other parent is a scumbag who doesn’t care about them is going to hurt your kids much more than it will your ex. We have standing orders and injunctions that prohibit our clients from talking to the kids about litigation while it’s ongoing, but there has to be a basic discussion about mom and dad getting divorced, about there being two houses, and about a schedule. As much as the parties are sometimes focused on the battle, they have to be aware of their children and how their children are responding to the divorce process. If the divorce is very bitter, they should have counsellors or other professionals available if the kids need to have a third party to talk to about their feelings and their hopes and fears for the future.