[P]arents considering divorce face far more considerations than do childless couples. Their actions affect far more than in-laws and friends. They also can’t make a ‘clean break,’ since for the next few (if not several) years, they will be dealing with that person, as they will be dealing with childhood issues for a good while.

10 Considerations Before Divorcing

In 7 Ideas to Make Your Divorce Very Smooth for Your Kids we talked about your relationship with your kids. Today I want to add the emotional and physical aspects. Divorcing parents should make the following considerations:

1. How attached are the kids to each parent? Kids with strong attachments to both parents will likely experience a loyalty each parent after the divorce. And remember that the kids have the right to maintain the same connection to each parent.

2. Whether your kids have recently experienced losses. If they have suffered through the loss of a friend or pet, moved, or changed schools, a divorce could affect them more deeply.

3. Tension at home. Exposure to parental conflict doesn’t necessarily make divorce easier for kids, but it can temper the disappointment.

4. Effect of financial stability. Statistically, after a divorce, women and children are left with less money. Before separating, consider paying for your children’s necessities, and maybe even some of their extras.

5. Whether they will have to change schools. Changing schools, making new friends, adjusting to new organizations could affect your child’s response to divorce.

6. Do they have friends who have gone through divorce? If so, that can make your child feel less isolated.

7. Each parent’s ability to cope with the changes associated with the divorce. Consider how you will tend to your own post-divorce needs. That could demonstrate the strength and resilience your children will need.

8. Your post-divorce relationship with your Ex. Communicating and working with your Ex will convey a sense of stability through this intense time. This might require some serious pride-swallowing, but remember, do what’s best for your children.

9. Consider each child’s history of coping with transitions. Children who have trouble dealing with life changes might have a harder time dealing with parents’ divorce.
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10. Their ages. Younger children will have fewer and less meaningful family memories. The more your children identify with the family, the more difficult the break-up.

None of these are reasons to or not to divorce. It’s the parents’ decision to determine what’s best for their family before divorcing.

What would you add? What suggestions do you have to make divorce better for our kids?

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