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How to Help Your Adult Children Deal With Your DivorceWhen you think of divorce, you might picture a family with younger children who will have to shift from household to household for the rest of their childhood. However, while a divorce can be hard on children who are still growing up, it can also be difficult for adults whose parents are splitting up.

Most of the time, when a couple who has adult children gets divorced, they are ending a marriage that has lasted for years, or maybe even decades. Divorcing after a long marriage can be difficult for both the couple and the rest of the family, due to increased financial issues and the amount of history and memories made together. If you are a parent of adult children, and you and your spouse are getting a divorce, here are a few ways that you can help your children cope with this major life change.

Time the Announcement Right

Once you realize that you are definitely getting a divorce, and there is no turning back, you should begin to think about how you are going to break the news to your family. An announcement as big as this should come directly from you, not from another family member who heard it first. In some cases, you may want to gather all of your children together to let them know about your divorce, but this may not always be feasible due to busy schedules or because you live in different geographical areas. In any case, you will want to have an adult conversation where you can inform each child about the end of your marriage, answer their questions, and ensure that they understand what is happening in your life.

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How to Help Your Children Prepare for Relocation After DivorceMoving to a new town or state can be hard for children under any circumstances, as they try to adjust to a new school, new friends, and a new routine. It can be even more difficult after a divorce, since children may be moving a significant distance away from one of their parents. If you are a single parent and your career or personal circumstances require relocation, you should be aware of the potential impact the move will have on your kids and do all that you can to make the situation easier for them.

Advice for Helping Your Children Cope

Relocations are usually easier for children if both parents make an effort to help them cope with the situation and maintain consistency as much as possible. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Modify Your Parenting Plan: In many cases, the parenting plan established during your divorce does not account for a relocation. If you are the custodial parent and you decide that relocation is necessary, you are required by Illinois law to notify the children’s other parent. If they agree to allow your relocation, you should work together to legally modify the parenting plan including any changes to parenting time and responsibilities. If they disagree, a court will have to rule on the relocation and updated parenting plan based on whether it is in the children’s best interests. In either case, having a clear parenting plan in writing that addresses the relocation can make it easier to uphold your children’s routine.
  2. Listen to Your Children’s Concerns: Your kids will likely have many questions about your upcoming move, including why it is happening, what their new home will be like, and whether they will continue to see their other parent. Be open to having these important conversations with your children, and do your best to acknowledge their feelings, answer their questions honestly, and help them understand.
  3. Plan for Their Next Stay with the Other Parent: When moving a long distance from a non-custodial parent, children may naturally fear that they will see the parent much less often. You can help alleviate this fear even before you move if both parents have conversations with the kids to plan for their next stay. You can also take advantage of technology to plan for frequent phone or video conversations when it is difficult to have regular time in person.

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney Today

At Goostree Law Group, we have decades of experience guiding parents and families through divorce and the accompanying challenges, and we can help you plan for relocation in a way that protects the interests of you and your children. Call 630-584-4800 for a free consultation with a St. Charles family law attorney who can answer your questions.

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How to Answer Your Child’s Biggest Divorce QuestionsWhen you break the news of your divorce to your children, you should be prepared for them to ask several questions. You need to be considerate of their feelings when answering these questions because a poorly worded answer could make them more upset. Keep in mind that:

  • Your children are most concerned about how your divorce affects them.
  • They need your reassurance without you making promises that you cannot keep.
  • There are some details about your divorce that your children should not know.

You can reasonably expect that your children will ask you some variation of the following questions:

  1. Why Are You Getting Divorced?: When answering this question, it is important to convey that your children did not cause the divorce and that you will both continue being their parents. Say that it was a difficult decision but what you feel you need to do. Your children do not need to hear about the reasons you are unhappy in your marriage or events that led to your divorce.
  2. Do You Still Love Me?: Getting a divorce usually means that you no longer love your spouse. This may cause your children to wonder whether you could stop loving them. Obviously, the relationship between a parent and child is different than between spouses. Reassure them that you will always love them, even if you do not feel the same way anymore about their other parent.
  3. Will You Get Back Together?: You should be confident in your decision to divorce before you tell your children about it. Do not tease them with the hope that you may reconcile your relationship. Tell them that you will not change your minds and that your breakup is permanent.
  4. Where Will We Live?: This can be a tricky question because the answer depends on how you divide parenting time and whether you decide to keep your marital home. The best answer is that they will have two homes – one with each parent. An older child may ask whether you will be moving out of your current home. Be honest with them if you do not know the answer but let them know that your decision will be based on what is best for them.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Your children will continue to have questions about your divorce and how it will affect them, and you may have your own questions about it. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group will help you figure out the allocation of parental responsibilities as part of your divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.

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Does Your Child Need Therapy to Cope with Your Divorce?It is hard to predict how a child will react to divorce, but parents should prepare for a difficult transition period. Your child’s reaction will partially depend on the environment you create for them. A supportive and caring environment should help your child, while exposure to divorce conflict could cause further trauma. Your child’s personality is another important factor in their reaction. Some children are more prone to depression and anxiety than others. Child therapy is an option you have if your child is struggling to adjust to the divorce, but how do you know whether therapy is right for your child?

Signs That Therapy May Help

Just because your child has an emotional outburst does not mean you should immediately book an appointment with a child therapist. Being upset is a natural reaction for children during divorce, and some children can process their emotions on their own if given time and care from their parents. If your child’s negative behavior persists or grows worse, then it may be time to seek outside help. For instance, your child may:

  • Continue to show signs of depression, anger, or anxiety
  • Regress to immature behavior for their age
  • Become more attached to you or your co-parent
  • Have trouble concentrating on or show a lack of interest in schoolwork or other activities
  • Become less communicative and more withdrawn in their home life

If you think your child may need therapy, you need to talk to your co-parent about it before you take action. Starting therapy is a major healthcare decision, and your parenting agreement may require consent from both parents. At the very least, this is a decision your co-parent should be aware of.

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How to Nurture Resilience in Your Children After DivorceAs a parent who decided to divorce, you may be concerned about how the divorce will emotionally affect your children. You know that they will be upset, but will the divorce cause long-lasting emotional trauma? The good news is that it is possible for children of divorce to become more resilient because of their experience, making them more capable of handling other hardships that may occur in their lives. There are several ways that you can create an environment that enables your child to build that resiliency:

  1. Healthy Communication: To understand how the divorce is affecting your children, you need to listen to what they say and watch how they behave. Encourage them to be open about their feelings without forcing them to talk when they are clearly not in the mood. When they do decide to talk, let them finish speaking without interjecting to correct them or add your own opinion. Resist your instinct to want to solve their problems for them or to reassure them that things are not so bad. The most important thing for you to do is to show sympathy towards their feelings and answer the questions that they ask.
  2. Creating Structure: Life will not be the same for your children as it used to be, but you can create a new normal that still supports them. Establish routines that incorporate familiar activities while adding new ones. Keep up traditions, such as holiday activities or special meals. Stay consistent with your parenting schedule so that your children can grow familiar with when they will spend time with each parent. Do not treat your children with gifts or special activities as a way to make up for the divorce. They need to settle into a normal routine.
  3. Preserving Connections: Your child’s relationships and activities outside of your home are some of the ways they may be able to cope with your divorce. Even if things have changed drastically at home, they can find relief in spending time with their friends and attending school. Relocating soon after a divorce takes those outlets away from them and may cause too much change at once. This should be one of your top considerations if you are debating whether to move your children to a new area following your divorce.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

Co-parenting is one of the most important factors in raising resilient children. You need to be able to put your personal differences aside in order to make decisions that are in the best interest of your children. At Goostree Law Group, our St. Charles, Illinois, divorce attorneys will help you create a parenting plan that fosters a healthy co-parenting relationship. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.


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