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Helping kids cope with divorce is easier with support

You may be one of many Illinois spouses whose marriage has been in turmoil for a while now. Perhaps, you recently told your children you are planning on filing for divorce, but now you're worried about how that announcement and the changes your decision will bring to their lives might affect them. The good news is that children are typically highly adaptable and resilient.

The more you and your ex are willing to work as a team concerning your children's future, the better. There are numerous child custody, visitation or property division issues that may present legal challenges, though. That's why it's best if you know where to seek support if a problem arises and find help to resolve the issue as swiftly as possible and, preferably, without confrontation.

Children often internalize their parents' divorce

Your kids might blame themselves for your divorce. This happens often, especially if a child has overheard parents fighting about an issue that pertained to him or her. To help your kids move on in life in a healthy manner, it's important to make sure they understand that your divorce was an adult decision and not their fault.

Parental conflict causes stress

It's best if you let your kids know that you encourage them to maintain an active and loving relationship with their other parent. If there's a reason why that would not be in their best interest, then that's another issue altogether. If, however, nothing is barring you from welcoming your ex to spend time with your kids, it's helpful to verbalize your approval to them.

Some parents get kids stuck in the middle of their disputes. If your children are constantly exposed to parental conflict, they might feel stressed or confused as to where their loyalties should lie. If you disagree with your ex, it's best to handle those matters in private.

What if you can't resolve the issue?

In a perfect world, you would divorce, and you and your co-parent would agree on every child-related issue so that you could peacefully raise your children together from separate households. In reality, even married parents often disagree. This is why it's important to know what your options are for resolving such problems, especially if the issue at hand is a legal matter.

If there is contention between you and your ex, for instance, because he or she is disregarding the terms of an existing court order, you can seek the court's intervention to enforce the order. You don't have to handle any type of post-divorce issue regarding your children on your own. Support is always available.


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