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How to Prepare Children for Divorce

Children and Divorce in Illinois

One of the hardest things about getting a divorce is how to prepare your children. As a parent, you want to prepare them for what is happening while not overwhelming them. Discussions about the situation and child time sharing plans should be open, honest, and age-appropriate. Our  Illinois divorce lawyer offers some helpful tips. 

Telling Your Children About Your Divorce

If you and your spouse are considering a divorce, the odds are your children are aware of the situation. They may have heard the two of you fighting or sensed a growing distance between you. Rather than waiting any longer, it is important to go ahead and address what is happening. 

When telling children about an impending divorce, Today’s Parent advises making sure the conversation is age-appropriate. Older children are likely to have more specific questions and will want more details about the situation. Regardless of their ages, though, there are some important things you will want to emphasize: 

  • They are not at fault: Children often blame themselves when bad things happen. Emphasize that your divorce has nothing to do with them. 
  • That you will both continue to love them: Regardless of their age, children are often fearful that they will ‘lose’ one of their parents as a result of a divorce. Emphasize that this will not happen. 
  • That it is okay to feel sad about the situation: Acknowledge their feelings, affirm their right to feel sad about the situation, and encourage them to discuss the situation with you, other family members, or close friends. 
  • That your family will recover: Remind them that while a divorce will change things, you remain a family and will recover. 

Preparing Them for What Will Happen Next

Once you get past telling your children about your divorce, the next step is preparing them for  what will happen next. Under the Illinois Statutes, courts generally favor child time sharing arrangements that allow both parents to remain active and involved in the child’s life. This involves: 

  • Dividing the child’s time between each parent’s home;
  • Allowing for overnight visits on weekends;
  • Extended visits during school breaks, holidays, and other special occasions;
  • Rights regarding important matters such as their education, religious upbringing, and medical care. 

Address concerns your children are likely to have about future arrangements, such as maintaining relationships with other relatives, having their own room in each parent’s home, concerns about changing school or extra-curricular activities, and whether they will still have time to spend with friends. 

Reach Out to Our Illinois Child Time Sharing Attorney

At The Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group, we are dedicated to protecting both parents and their children in divorce proceedings. To find out more about child time sharing plans, reach out and contact our Illinois child time sharing online to request a consultation today.

There are many factors to consider when contemplating divorce, and a pre-divorce planning session can help you begin to plan for a divorce. Please contact the professionals at the Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group by calling (312) 585-6604 or clicking here to schedule a consultation.

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