How will my divorce affect my child?

When you are getting divorced the effect it will have on your child can be at the forefront of your mind. Whatever age your child is, when parents split up it has a huge impact on your child’s life. Parents falling out of love and arguing with each other can be heartbreaking for a child. They are often transported between two different households, one of them a new one with a new home. The day to day routine is disrupted and this can all create upheaval for a child.

If your marriage has broken down then you need to end it with the minimum disruption to your family. As Family Law Solicitors we know that the effect the divorce will have on a couple children is a great source of concern.

Every family, every divorce and every child is different. This blog gives some guidance after speaking to many divorcing couples on what they thought worked for them in minimising the upset caused to their children when they were going through a divorce.

At the outset we would say take care of yourself. If an airplane is in an emergency then you are advised to put your own oxygen mask on first. When it comes to divorce, look after yourself so that you can be there for your kids.

Children often depend on their parents to be stable. Divorce rocks that belief. However, you can still try and create stability in your child’s life even when going through a spilt.

How you can help your child through the divorce? Try and stay as patient as you can. Try and reassure your child that everything will be fine. Try and talk to your child and listen to any concerns that he or she may have. Remind your child that everything will be okay. Parents have often told us that even though they have felt unsure themselves they have always tried to tell their children that everything will work out fine. That is all they want to hear.

Aim to keep your child’s routine as it was. If a child has structure then this will help calm them down and knowing what is ahead can sometimes be half the battle. This helps to keep your child’s thoughts and mindset stable. You may wish to let the school know so they can keep an extra eye on your child and provide pastoral care if needed. You may also want to share it with the parents of your children’s close friends so they can help if needed.

Be honest with your child. Let them know what is happening. Tell them that you know they will be upset but everything will be okay.  Draw up a diary of positive events that will be happening in the future whether it be school trips or a birthday party. Remind them that even though there may be sad times there will be lots of happy times too.

Keeping a relationship with your ex is important for your children. However frustrated and upset you may be with your ex, try not to let your children see this. I know that is an easy thing to say and very difficult in practice to do, but try your best!

Your children are most likely to tell you in the future that your divorce was one of the hardest parts of their childhood. Unfortunately, there is probably very little you can do to stop that so do not be too hard on yourself. Try your best and know that you are not alone in facing the issues that surround divorce. Sadly, they are common for most parents!

Our Family Law Team handles divorce cases with confidence and sensitivity. Most of them are parents themselves and can guide you every step of the way. If you wish to speak to us then give us a call on 0161 491 8520.

Mackenzie Leahy

New Claims Assistant


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