While all divorces involve at least some degree of hostility, a high-conflict divorce is especially contentious. Child psychiatrist Dr. Mark Banschick calls high-conflict divorces “malignant divorces” because of the stress and emotional burdens these splits can incur. If you are a parent who is getting divorced, and you have a combative relationship with your spouse, you probably worry about how this conflict will affect your child. There is no perfect way to help your child cope through a high-conflict divorce, but experts do have suggestions for how to minimize your child’s emotional trauma during a difficult divorce.
Have Adult Conversations Away from the Children
Experts agree that children can be deeply disturbed by parental conflict and fighting. The best way to minimize your child’s trauma during divorce is to keep adult conversations away from your child as much as possible. Studies show that when children watch or overhear their parents fighting, they are more likely to have behavioral and emotional problems. Working with a skilled mediator may be one way to keep divorce-related discussions compartmentalized, but this is not always a possibility during a high-conflict divorce. If possible, take divorce-related phone calls in another room and avoid “bad-mouthing” the other parent in front of your child.
Answer Your Child’s Questions About Logistics
Another way you can help your child cope with a divorce is to help him or her prepare for the changes that are about to take place. Reassuring your child that he or she is loved and will continue to be taken care of is key. Furthermore, be prepared to answer questions such as:
Who will I live with?
When will I see my other parent?
Will I still get to see my friends?
Where will I go to school?
How will we spend the holidays?
What will I do in the summer?
Although you may not immediately have answers to all of your child’s questions, you can reassure him or her that you will not keep secrets. Once you have a plan for the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, you can share more detailed information with your child.
Contact a Cook County Parenting Time Attorney
High-conflict divorce can be an incredibly heavy burden to bear. Fortunately, you do not have to manage the proceedings alone. Contact an experienced Burr Ridge divorce lawyer from Botti Marinaccio, LTD. for help with parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, and more. Schedule a confidential consultation with our team of dedicated professionals by calling our office today at 630-575-8585.