Kids tell parents what they need in divorce

19th January 2015 by

In many cases children will already be aware of certain difficulties which may lead up to their parents’ divorce. Older children may well be able to read some of the signs, especially if parents argue a lot or one parent moves out of the family home, but on some occasions, the news that parents are going to go their separate ways will come as a complete shock and can be devastating for children.

In all cases of divorce, child experts and family lawyer agree that parents do need to take some time to consider how they are going to break the news to their children and how they are going to behave towards each other in the weeks and months following the split.

For advice and guidance on this and all legal considerations regarding relationship breakdown Healys divorce solicitors in London and Brighton can help.

Of course, there is no way to protect children completely from the difficult emotional feelings they will experience when parents decide to divorce, but there are ways to mitigate the pain and hurt that the situation can lead to.

From the mouths of children

The Human Development and Family Studies department at the University of Missouri have compiled a list of what children want and need from their parents following family breakdown and this can serve as a useful guide for divorcing parents when deciding how they should behave and how best to protect their children from any unnecessary and avoidable emotional stress.

Children say:

  • We want both parents to stay in our lives and, especially if they don’t live nearby, we want contact in any form; letters, phone calls, texts – any method is welcome. As are questions about how our lives are going, who our friends are and what our likes and dislikes are. Children say that when parents move completely out of their lives they feel unimportant and as if the parent doesn’t love them anymore.
  • We want parents to stop fighting! Children want parents to at least try to get along and to try to agree on issues relating to their needs. Children say that when parents fight about them, they feel that they have done something wrong.
  • We want to feel free to love both parents and enjoy time spent with each one without feeling guilty. When parents act jealously it can make children feel they need to ‘pick sides’.
  • We want divorcing parents to be able communicate with each other and not to try to do it through us. Children can feel extreme and harmful pressure when parents ask them to relay information about their care and they must attempt to sort any issues regarding visits, holidays, etc out directly.
  • We want parents to speak civilly about each other in front of us because when one parent says something nasty about the other parent, we feel like we are expected to agree and this can make us feel extremely upset.
  • We want parents to remember that we want both of them in our lives and want to be able to rely on mum and dad to raise us, teach us what is important and to be there when we have problems.

Making a difference in divorce

Just as parents can make a real difference to how children cope with family breakdown, the choice of family lawyer can be crucial in the efficiency, ease and cost-effectiveness of reaching a divorce settlement.

Here at Healys, our divorce solicitors in London and Brighton pride themselves on creating the solutions you need to carry on with your life and have the time to concentrate on helping your children cope with any stress they may be feeling.

You can rely on us to be pro-active, to communicate clearly and to carry out all procedures relating to your divorce in a timely manner. For more information on the family law team at Healys please call our London or Brighton office today.

For more information on the service we provide, please contact Catherine Taylor on 01273 669 124 or email for Brighton. For London please contact Jane Sanders on 020 7822 4107 or email