Divorce – Reduce its impact on Children

Divorce can be stressful, sad and confusing for children. At any age, children will feel uncertain about what life would be like or angry at the prospect of their parents’ divorce.

To avoid trauma, parents need to make the process less painful to their children and the following tips can help.

Honesty: Children are entitled to some explanation about why the parents are divorcing, and a long-winded explanation will only confuse them. The parents should tell them something that is simple and honest but not accusatory of the other parent.

Reassurance:  In many divorce scenarios the child might assume that the parents are separating because of something he or she did. A simple reassurance will help them to know that they are not the reason.  Letting the children know that you still love them can be a very powerful message for them. Reassuring them that you still care about them is also of great help.

Address Changes: The worst fear about divorce in a child’s mind is change. The children might be scared about changes that might take place in their life in case the divorce goes through. Parents should preempt their children’s questions about changes that might take place by acknowledging that some things will be different but others will not change.

Respect and Restraint: The explanation should be offered by both parents. Parents should show respect and restraint when giving reasons so as not to bias the child’s opinion on one parent, but they should provide a united front.

Blame games: The parents should also avoid blaming each other or talking to outside parties about the divorce in the presence of their children. Avoid bad mouthing your spouse since this can make the child resent one of her/his parents. Let your child know that even if you have separated, you will continue to love them unconditionally. This is where visitation rights come in. The children need to feel that they still have the love of both parents even after separation.

Seek Advice:  These guidelines may not work in every situation and are one person’s view.  If you have a counselor or spiritual advisor, seek other advice too.

Divorce is traumatic for a child, and it is up to you as a parent to ease the pain and confusion.




Raleigh divorce lawyer Scott Allen handles modification of custody, child custody, and temporary custody hearings and has over seventeen years of experience.  

If you have questions or need assistance call him at (919) 863-4183 or email at sallen@allenspence.com.