Divorce is painful no matter who you are. Whether you’re a child watching your parents navigate a divorce, one of the people getting divorced, or simply a family member, it’s important to know you are not alone. Children can have an especially hard time with divorce. The good news is that with the right therapist, some tools for co-parenting, a good attorney, and a strong support system, any child will have a better chance of making it through the pain of divorce without long-term issues. If you or someone you know is getting divorced and you want to help the children involved, read on for resources that could help.
Family Therapists and Group Counseling
One great way you can help your child through a divorce is by getting them enrolled in child therapy, family therapy, or a peer support group for kids in similar situations. In getting your child connected to professionals and peers, you can be assured they’ll get the mental health treatment and interventions they need to help with the often traumatic experience of divorcing parents and symptoms like low self-esteem that often come along with it.
Depending on your child’s age, a child therapy therapist may engage them in play therapy or traditional talk therapy. A therapist or counselor will give your child a safe space to talk about their anxieties and fears around their parents separating. Having that safe space alone can be enough to help a child feel better about their situation.
Experienced Attorneys To Mediate and Navigate Co-Parenting
Many parents underestimate the impact that an experienced family lawyer can have on their child’s mental health during the divorce process. Family lawyers are well versed in how personal divorce law is. They understand that children are impacted and can help you work through conflicts with your estranged partner to establish healthy co-parenting boundaries and routines. This will ultimately add up to a safer and more stable circumstance for your child as you go through the process of not only divorce but legal separation.
Some people opt to file for divorce without the help of a family lawyer. While it’s possible to get free legal services through legal websites or in doing your own legal research, it’s a good idea to look into meeting with a lawyer in your area so you know your options. Consider a Google search in your area for a list of lawyers who represent divorcing parents in court. If affordability is an issue, know that there are services out there for you, too. For example, Franklin Family Law offers legal aid for family law. A search for legal aid and family law where you live could be the answer you and your child have been waiting for.
Surrounding a Child With Support
One of the best ways to support your child is to work together with your co-parent to help them know they aren’t alone. However, it’s also important that they have time with peers and other supportive family members. Do what you can to schedule special events, play dates, and activities where your child can be a kid and not think about what’s happening. An outing with Grandma or Grandpa could be a great way to keep your child distracted when meeting with family lawyers or going through mediation.
At the end of the day, divorce can be less painful with the right supports. Reaching out for help is a great first step in creating a safe space for your child to navigate their emotions. Best of luck to you and your co-parent as you work together to do what’s right for your child who has been impacted by divorce.