When going through a divorce with children, answering your children’s questions can be one of the most difficult parts of the process. You want to provide them with truthful answers and help them establish reasonable expectations, but you also want to make sure they are not involved in the process any more than is absolutely necessary. Your children will be directly affected by the outcome of your divorce, so they deserve answers. But, they also deserve to be protected from the emotional toll of your divorce to the greatest extent possible.

With these competing interests in mind, how should you respond when your kids ask questions about your divorce? While every family’s circumstances are unique, here are some general tips to keep in mind:

1. Custody and Visitation

Regarding custody and visitation rights, you should let your children know that they do not have to choose either parent over the other, and neither you nor your spouse is happy about spending time away from them. Establishing a custody and visitation schedule is a necessary part of the divorce process, and one that focuses on serving the best interests of the children involved.

2. Clothes, Toys and Friends

Regardless of whether your children will split time evenly between you and your spouse or spend the majority of their time at one parent’s household, it is often best for kids of divorced parents to have a “home base” where they keep most of their stuff. This can provide an added sense of stability, and it ensures that everyone will know where to look when something needs to be found.

Following a divorce, children’s access to their friends should largely remain the same. While a parent who has visitation every other weekend may understandably want to spend as much quality time together as possible, it is important to remember that your children’s friends are some of the most important people in their lives.

3. Sports and Extracurricular Activities

Participation in sports and extracurricular activities should generally remain undisturbed as well. You and your spouse figured out a transportation schedule while you were married, and you can make a transportation schedule work after your divorce.

4. Holidays and Vacations

The first holidays and vacations after a divorce can be difficult for everyone. While your children are used to spending holidays and going on vacations with both of their parents, now they need to adhere to a schedule that they may not like and that they certainly did not choose. It is important to be up front with children – particularly older ones – with regard to major changes they can expect after your divorce, and this includes helping them prepare to cope with different circumstances during the holidays and summer break.

5. Dealing with Challenges

If challenges regarding transportation, scheduling, enforcement of rules or curfews, or any other issues come up after your divorce, it will be up to you and your former spouse to resolve them for your children. Your kids should not have to worry about mediating disputes or relaying messages, and it will be important for you to provide them with as much stability and certainty as possible.

Contact the McKinney Divorce Lawyers at Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC

If you are preparing for a divorce in McKinney, TX and would like more information about dealing with the issues that will impact your children, we encourage you to contact us for a complimentary initial consultation. To speak with one of our experience divorce lawyers in confidence, please call (214) 726-1450 or request an appointment online today.