Common Divorce Fears: Will My Divorce Harm Our Children?

Divorce and Children

One of the most common fears people have about divorce is the potential harm it may cause to their children. While it is true that divorce is hard on children, staying in a toxic relationship can also have detrimental effects. So how can you protect your children during your divorce?

  1. Prioritize shielding your children from conflict to minimize the potential negative impact of your divorce. To do this, you should both plan to deal with issues directly, whether through communication with your spouse or co-parent, or by seeking help from professionals. Unfortunately, too many people avoid dealing with problems by burying their heads in the sand until issues become unmanageable. This avoidance often leads to conflicts that explode in front of the children, exacerbating the situation. These issues, if managed early through communication or professional engagement, can prevent minor problems from becoming major problems.
  2. Stay out of court! Court proceedings can magnify minor issues, turning them into significant conflicts. For example, a child hitting their head at the park can lead to accusations of being an unfit parent, escalating a minor incident into a major dispute. Collaborative Divorce is an alternative to court litigation. The collaborative process is beneficial in this regard because it fosters communication, helping to move cases along more smoothly.
  3. Choose Collaborative Divorce which is a process involving multiple professionals who play vital roles in facilitating communication. Mental health professionals (MHPs), acting as communication coaches, and child specialists, who serve as the child’s voice, are key to this process. These professionals offer skills that are often lacking in court cases, providing a structured environment for effective communication. Collaboratively trained lawyers, mental health professionals, and financial neutrals all contribute to ensuring that communication is prioritized.
  4. Make putting your children first a primary goal. In almost every divorce case involving children, parents aim to shield their children from conflict and prioritize their well-being. However, not all parents are adept at achieving this on their own. The Collaborative Divorce process acts as an insurance policy helping to prevent minor issues from escalating in front of your children. By having a team of professionals working toward the same goal, you and your spouse parents can keep the focus in your divorce on your children’s best interests.

While divorce can create uncertainties and fear for children, staying in a toxic relationship can be equally or even more harmful. By prioritizing communication, seeking professional help, and considering the Collaborative Divorce process, you can mitigate the negative impact of divorce on your children, ensuring a healthier and more stable environment for their growth and development.

The Law Offices of Patrick Markey, P.C., are dedicated to the Collaborative Divorce Process. Our offices are located at 108 Stetson Avenue Suite 3500 in Chicago, Illinois. You may call us at 312-223-1763.