Often times my clients fear the effect their dispute over child custody has on their children. As an attorney, I know the importance of understanding and dealing with everyone's emotions in a child custody dispute. I know my clients want to know if there is some way to minimize the stress on the kids.
1. It is okay to tell them what is going on but how and what you tell them is what is important.
2. Tell them that Mom and Dad are trying to figure out the best possible living situation for them. Remember to tell them that you will always love them no matter which parent has custody or if both parents share custody.
3. If you are going through a child custody battle, don't ask your children who they want to live with. That puts too much stress on their young heads whether they are ages 5 or 15.
4. Many communities have support groups in schools or churches for children whose families are going through divorce or the death of one parent. Consider enrolling your children in one of those groups. A good group leader will make the group fun and your children will meet other children whose families are going through divorce and/or custody battles.
5. If no groups are available or if your children are experiencing extreme difficulty, acting out at home or in school, consider taking your children to a counselor with expertise in dealing with kids of divorce or custody struggles.
6. If you are still in the same residence, try not to expose your kid to your arguments with your soon to be ex regarding the divorce and custody battle.
Above all remember that if you are constantly stressed when custody is up in the air, your kids will be stressed. Take care of your mental health. Get as much relaxation as you can so that you can be relaxed when you are around your kids. This will help tremendously!