How to Minimize the Impact of Divorce on Your Children

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted June 21, 2023

Divorce, as a rule, is hard on kids. Seeing the family home break up and parents upset with each other will shake a child’s sense of stability. While you can’t change that divorce has an impact on your children, you can shape what that impact is and prevent the divorce experience from becoming traumatic. There’s no denying that some divorcees are more traumatic for children than others. What defines that crucial difference? Usually, the answer is conflict. When parents fight, say negative things, and try to make children pick sides, trauma occurs and children lose their sense of family safety.

Fortunately, the reverse is also true. When divorcing parents work together to reach resolutions, co-parent, and make sure both adults exit in good financial standing, children see that their family security is not shattered, merely split into two pieces. Many kids adapt well to having two homes, two bedrooms, and even two sets of friends after a divorce with a happy and easy transition. You can achieve this for your kids by working to minimize the impact of divorce. You can work with your ex to avoid conflict and build a stable post-divorce routine.

Our Denver family law attorneys operate a family-friendly process, and have ushered many conflict-free custody agreements to completion. Here are our top tips for minimizing the negative impacts of divorce on your children during and after the divorce process.

1. Spend More Time Together, Not Less

denver family law attorney

One of the best tips we can give is to increase the time you spend with your kids. During divorce, children and even teenagers need constant assurance that their home life isn’t about to disappear – and that they can maintain a strong relationship with both parents. This means that both parents should take more time to spend at home or doing shared activities with the kids. Strengthen the family bond in this time when your children are worried that it will weaken. You can also start to create fun weekly routines and traditions that will carry over comfortably into the post-divorce custody and parenting time routine like going to the movies, playing a weekly sports game, or even meeting to play online.

Don’t let the distractions of a divorce reduce the time you spend at home. This is important to remember as your to-do list piles up.

2. Maintain Routines and Environments, When Possible

Children and teenagers need routine and structure. Often, these things break down during divorce because the parents themselves are going through personal transformations of personality and circumstance. Divorce has a huge impact on the spouses, but for your kids, you should make an effort to maintain routines like morning breakfast together, evening homework checks, and weekly special dinners. These are the things that keep the wheels on the wheels on the wagon for kids, and if these essential elements of family routine and oversight disappear, kids are more likely to stray when left on their own.

3. Talk It Out. Be Honest and Ask About Their Feelings

Chances are that both you and your kids need to talk about the family changes. There are big transformations going on in your life and a lot of uncertainty. Children can sometimes manifest strange and dramatic worries while teenagers are capable of becoming deeply bothered by their understanding of the mundane truth. Be honest with your kids when you take the time to sit down and talk about what’s going on. In plain language, explain that the marriage is ending and the life you and your ex will build as a result of that separation.

Then listen to your kids. Ask them about their feelings, their worries, and what they might want to see in the next few years. Help them work out misunderstandings and reassure them that the family will survive, just in a different form.

4. Don’t Bad-Mouth – Secure an Adult Confidant

Avoid the classic mistake of bad-mouthing your ex around the kids. Children need to maintain a strong relationship with both parents, whenever possible. Hearing bad things about one of their parents also psychologically reflects on their opinion of themselves. Remember, they are half of the person you are divorcing and may worry you feel the same things about those traits they share with your ex.

Bite down on venting when you are driving with your kids or after a difficult phone call. It’s OK to tell your children that you are frustrated or even angry with their other parent, but don’t let yourself go into detail or ask the kids to take sides – even if there is a clear moral high ground.

Instead, secure yourself an adult confidant. You will need someone to talk to and to indiscriminately vent about the situation; it just shouldn’t be your kids. Find a friend, sibling, or counselor who can listen to the negative things you need to say.

5. Don’t Put Kids In the Middle of Divorce Conflict

Another classic and traumatizing mistake is to put kids “in the middle” during divorce conflict. Do not ask your kids to spy or deliver information about your ex, don’t ask them to deliver messages, and don’t send them with passive-aggressive boxes of personal items. Handle these exchanges separately or – after some thought – perhaps not at all. Divorce makes people think and feel wild things, and it can be tough to make the right decisions. But any time your mad-cap thoughts regarding your ex involves the kids, discard the plan by default to play it safe. 

6. Minimize Conflict During and About the Divorce

One of the best ways to minimize the negative impact of divorce on children is to minimize the negativity. Try to eliminate conflict from the divorce as much as possible. Seek areas of agreement and compromise in areas of disagreement. Avoid expressing strong emotions or allowing emotion to cloud a practical and mutually beneficial divorce settlement. Make sure you have what you need and that your children will be safe and secure in both households depending on current custody and visitation arrangements. Avoid fighting over the phone or through email or between Denver family law attorneys to focus on swift resolutions and a clean break.

7. Seek Mutual Resolutions and a Positive Shared Future

Consider seeking Denver divorce mediation in order to achieve the most conflict-free divorce possible. Divorce mediation, as a rule, does not favor one spouse over the other so you will neither have to fight for your share nor defend yourself from a spouse’s lawyer. Divorce mediation also focuses on streamlining the process, taking prepared paperwork, and practical center-line resolutions to quickly split assets and reach agreeable mutual terms.

If you want your divorce to be completed quickly and without any risk of fighting to minimize impact on the kids, Denver divorce mediation is a swift solution mutually supportive uncontested divorce.

8. Allow Older Kids to Have a Say

Finally, if your children have a strong opinion or want a say, let them step in. Older kids and teens often have strong worries or a preference they wish to share. Denver divorce mediation is a safe environment for your children to participate or have their wishes read and considered as part of the mediation process. Children who know they are heard and their desires are being weighed as an equal part of the decision-making will also feel more secure in the strength of their post-divorce family.

Here at Split Simple, we know that children make divorce about more than just separating spouses – you are rebuilding your family into a new shape and reducing the damage of separation on your children. We are here to help. Contact Split Simple todayfor family-friendly and efficient divorce mediation services.

Split Simple

1624 Market Street #202

Denver, CO 80202

720-501-4600