If you’re planning on getting a divorce and you have children, you’ll need to file for joint custody if both you and your spouse want to have custody over your children and be able to see them and be with them as they grow. And while divorce is difficult enough for the adults involved, it’s even harder for the children, so you need to take the time to talk to your kids and explain what joint custody is all about.
Need help figuring out how to talk to your kids about life involving joint custody? Then continue reading for a few helpful tips.
Even though you may be angry and bitter, it’s best to not bring any level of drama into your conversations about divorce when you’re speaking with your children. This means that you shouldn’t blame the other parent or get overly negative about what’s happening in everyone’s life. Doing so will only create additional emotional stress on your kids.
Remember that your overall attitude and tone about the divorce will really have an impact upon how well your kids respond to it, as well as how they view the entire experience, so try to remain as positive, or at least neutral, about your partner as possible. If you have ongoing conflict with your ex, your children’s emotional and physical health could suffer.
Explain the Changes
Your kids will be going through some major changes, so you need to explain these changes clearly to them in order to put their minds at ease.
Start by reminding your kids that there will be many things that remain the same, such as how much you and the other parent love them and how committed you are to their happiness. Reassure your kids that you’ll always be there for them, that they’ll be safe, and that they’ll be loved.
Once you’ve established what will remain the same, you can explain what will change so you can ease your kids’ fears. Let them know where they’ll be living and when they’ll be able to see you and their other parent. Answer any questions that they have along the way, but avoid going into too many details unless you’re asked about them, as the last thing you want to do is overwhelm your kids or create high levels of anxiety.
Use a Visual Aid to Explain Joint Custody
Many kids, particularly very young children, will benefit from a visual aid that explains joint custody. For example, you can use a calendar that shows them exactly when they’ll be seeing you and their other parent.
A calendar is a great tool even for older children because it reassures them that they can have control over their lives by following the schedule, and it also proves that both of their parents will be involved in their lives.
Finally, when filing for joint custody, make sure that you’re well aware of the ins and outs of International Custody Law, and get counsel from professionals like those at Ideal Legal Group so you can come to a conflict-free resolution with your spouse about the custody of your children.