Conflict and Divorce: How to Handle Conflict When Kids are Involved

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted December 19, 2019

divorce mediation chicago

Not too many people enter into matrimony with the thought of one day calling it quits. But, divorce does happen, and when it does, it represents a difficult time for all parties involved.

Sometimes, dramatic events such as domestic violence, unchecked substance abuse, or infidelity bring about the end of a marriage. But, more often than not, divorce comes about because people grow apart, and their interests, goals, and even ideologies no longer work in harmony. 

Often, uncontested divorce in Chicago becomes the best and most logical solution for both partners involved. But, when children also make up part of the equation, it becomes considerably more difficult and complicated.

Divorce doesn’t have to be hateful:

The process of divorcing represents a stressful one. Especially when young children make up part of the picture, it takes a lot of soul-searching to decide to separate. Many couples ask themselves if they should remain together because of the children. Well, if you can’t find a way to live happily, divorcing may represent the best option for everyone involved.

Even though you may divorce, you’re not divorcing your kids. Showing respect for each other and keeping the disagreements civil will set the stage for co-parenting. Unless extreme situations exist involving domestic violence, criminal activity, or substance abuse, the ideal situation for the kids consists of the participation of both parents. Some points to remember to successfully co-parent include the following:

  • When both parents stay involved in child-rearing, the child maintains better mental and emotional health.
  • Resolve financial issues, including child support and other expenses.
  • Maintain an amicable relationship with each other and communicate respectfully.
  • When logistical or other problems arise, ask rather than demanding help from the other parent.
  • Set aside your hurt and blame for the good of the children.
  • Don’t overreact when things go wrong.
  • Practice excellent listening skills.

Discuss divorce with your kids appropriate for their age:

The age of your children and how much conflict they witnessed in your stressed relationship will determine their reaction to your decision to separate. If they attend school, no doubt they know classmates with divorced parents.

Regardless of their age and degree of awareness, many children will come up with questions you need to prepare to answer. Some of the most heartbreaking questions include those such as, “Is it my fault?” “Why don’t you love each other anymore?” and, “Doesn’t Daddy or Mommy love me?”

When dealing with your children’s questions and reactions you and your ex need to follow some guidelines to reassure them you both still love them and want the best for them:

  • Choose your words carefully. This time of change isn’t a time to point out faults or disappointments, but to explain that you and the other parent decided the best decision was separation.
  • Tell the truth. Telling the truth doesn’t mean you need to bother a child with unnecessary or unpleasant details, but don’t leave them with the thought that it’s a temporary situation if that’s not the case.
  • Speak to your child in an age-appropriate way. Your three-year-old daughter may possess a brilliant mind, but that doesn’t mean she will understand the adult version of a problem. Whether speaking to toddlers, young children, teens, or adult children, you will want to convey that though you and your spouse decided to separate, you both want them in your lives and love them very much. Reiterate that they possess no blame and that your dedication to them will never change.
  • Make sure also to practice self-care. You can’t be your best as a parent if you don’t care for yourself.

Making the kids the top priority:

Hopefully, once you and your spouse make the final decision to divorce, your agreement to make sure your kids look forward to a happy and secure future tops the list of what to accomplish. Follow these guidelines to ensure your children take priority:

  • Keep your plans concerning the kids about them and not about your wishes and desires. 
  • Make sure you and your ex agree on curfews, schedules, and rules. For example, your eight-year-old shouldn’t stay up until ten at Dad’s if Mom shuts the lights off at eight.
  • Make sure the children’s financial coverage also includes healthcare.
  • Try whenever possible to drop the kids off at the other parent’s home rather than picking them up. Dropping them off avoids family interruptions at their other household. Depending on the distance between parents, sometimes the best solution involves meeting halfway.

Your children will benefit from your consideration in the following ways:

  • They will feel loved and safe and secure.
  • They will learn problem-solving skills if you and your spouse coordinate on logistical difficulties.
  • They will learn excellent people-coping skills from the example you set.

We can help by eliminating the courtroom drama:

In a conventional scenario where one of the parties doesn’t agree to or contests the divorce, the people end up in a courtroom situation both with the representation of their own legal counsel. If you and your spouse agree to divorce amicably, the best way to proceed involves using an attorney-mediator and reach an uncontested divorce in Chicago.

This mediator will work with both of you in a fair and impartial matter. Especially when children represent part of the picture, all efforts will take place to make sure their best interest takes top priority.

We can help make the uncontested divorce in Chicago process as painless as possible so that you may get on with your lives.

Custody options:

Many things need consideration when it comes to the custody situation, but the first one involves the law. Most State custody laws look for the best scenario for the child.

Ideally, a judge will grant joint legal and physical custody barring any logistical or other complications. If the parents live far apart, it may mean the children need to live primarily in one place, especially during the school year.

Mediators realize that both parents want to see the children and that the child needs exposure to both parents. A mediator will set your personal feelings about your ex aside and guide you into making the best plans for the child. 

Contact Divorce Mediators in Chicago Today

If divorce appears inevitable, why make it more difficult for anyone involved? If you have questions about how to proceed with an uncontested divorce in Chicago and the next best steps for your children, please contact us here.

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180 North Stetson Avenue #3500

Chicago, IL 60601