Guiding your child or children through your divorce is a painful process. Providing them stability and reassurance at a time when you may not feel self-assured or stable yourself can be a really difficult task. But the effects on children can be far reaching, so helping them through this time is crucial.

In cases where there are children involved, Florida courts now use the term Shared Parenting Responsibility as it is less inflammatory that the word “custody”. The division of time between parents can be quite difficult on the child or children as they get accustomed to each parent’s new role as individual caretakers. At times like this, children of any age need reassurance and a listening ear. It won’t necessarily be a smooth path, but it doesn’t have to be a cloud of doom that hangs over them throughout their lives.

One way to help them come to terms with things and transition into healthy, confident, well-adjusted kids is to provide them with routine. Lay out a parenting plan ahead of time and stick to it so that kids know what to expect on any given day. This will not only help them feel more at ease, it will give them confidence in their relational standing with both parents just by knowing what to expect and when.

Secondly, allowing parental conflict to seep into the everyday lives of the children is a sure fire way to make kids angry, sad, or distrusting toward one parent or the other. Maintaining civility with one another when the kids are around is an important way to help them feel safe with either parent.

Dissolution of marriage won’t be without some degree of difficulty, but making your children a top priority can help alleviate some of that difficulty and help them grow to be emotionally healthy adults.