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Talking to kids about child custody and divorce

Children typically thrive in settings that are structured and centered on healthy routines. However, many Kansas families experience upsets from time to time, especially when parents decide to divorce. Such situations often include contentious child custody issues, which can cause children high levels of stress.  

The way a parent approaches such topics of discussion with his or her kids impacts the children’s ability (or lack thereof) to cope. A parent must keep each child’s age and level of maturity in mind before discussing serious issues, such as which parent the child will live with or why both parents are no longer going to live under one roof. It is not uncommon for children to feel angry, sad, afraid or all of the above upon learning that parents are getting divorced.  

While having a discussion about divorce is inevitable, a parent must tread lightly when choosing his or her exact wording so as not to give a child more details than he or she can emotionally handle or intellectually comprehend. A child should also be encouraged to ask questions. Parents do well to allow kids to express their feelings and to remind their children that they are not to blame for their parents’ divorce.  

Parents who disagree about child custody matters in divorce will want to avoid speaking negatively about each other within earshot of their kids. Doing so can cause confusion and impede children’s ability to adapt to their new lifestyle. An experienced Kansas family law attorney is a great asset to have on hand to address any legal questions that arise.