Navigating Divorce With Children: What Conversations You Need to Have

Richmond Tymchuk Family Law

Navigating Divorce With Children: What Conversations You Need to Have

Richmond Tymchuk Family Law

A divorce can be a complicated and emotional time. You might feel overwhelmed by the amount of decisions you need to make, especially if you and your spouse have different views on what is the best or the right way to approach your divorce while raising children together.

In this blog post, we’ve outlined some of the important conversations to have with your ex as well as with your children. If you’re not sure where or how to start, our lawyers at RT Family Law will help guide you through what conversations to have and when to have them.  

Discussions to have with your ex:

Keep communication friendly and amicable

The better your relationship is with your ex, the easier things tend to be on your children. Regardless of your children’s age, they are always watching how you communicate and navigate the challenging times in life. With the mindset of patience, compassion and healthy boundaries, make a plan for how you are going to communicate with your ex about important topics going forward. 

For example, it’s important to carve out time, just the two of you (without the kids), to discuss roles and responsibilities of logistics and caregiving. Some (ex)couples might be able to do this in person, however others might want to communicate by email, to keep things written down for future reference.  

It might be appropriate to include older children in scheduling decisions that affect their time and activities, as long as it’s part of a healthy conversation regarding the task at hand. Read more about creating safe conversations and emotional support for your children when navigating divorce challenges in our blog here.  

Changes in living arrangements, schools and routine

When children’s parents divorce, it can often feel like their whole world is shifting from underneath them. It can be helpful to speak about any and all major changes as early as possible. With the divorce, do the children have to move homes and/or schools? What will happen to their routines, sports, or how often they’ll be available to see their friends? You’ll want to discuss the impact these little or big changes will have on each of you and your children. At some point too, you’ll also have to broach the topic of holiday arrangements, depending on the time of year. 

While discussing child custody and scheduling, you'll want to come to an arrangement which suits everyone. There will be a lot of moving pieces with jobs, schooling, and extracurricular activities, and you might be wondering how to sort it all. Read more about finding the best child custody solution for your children, and know that at Richmond Tymchuk Family Law LLP, your family’s best interests are always our best interests, and we’re happy to support all of your family law needs. 

Discussions to have with your children: 

Changes in your relationships

Explaining divorce to a child isn’t easy, and the level of the discussion will depend on the age of your child. Caring for Kids has some great resources on this topic, including planning the conversion beforehand with your ex so that you’re both on the same page, as well as listening to your children’s concerns while giving them time and space to process what they are feeling. 

Changes in living arrangements, schools and routine

Speak to your child about what will stay the same in their lives, and what changes will be coming up. Whether the changes are minor, like you and your ex won’t be sitting side by side at their piano recital, or whether the changes are large, such as living arrangements which will affect neighbourhood friendships, it’s important to get in front of these conversations. 

If your ex will be living separately from the family, and the children will be visiting them at their new home, talk about this with your children so they know what to expect. Depending on the children’s age, including them in the scheduling plans will help make them feel valued. They may also learn that working on relationships, regardless if they look different than what everyone initially thought they might look like, still matters. Children often like to pick out their toys and clothes, for example, to take with them for overnight visits, to give them continuity. 

Your child might want a say in who they live with. We’ve written a blog post about when a child can choose which parent to live with which you might find useful.

If you’re moving house and the children are changing schools, give them time to adjust to this change. A divorce will have a large impact on everyone’s lives and everyone will handle it differently. Being prepared to have these difficult conversations will help everyone transition into their new path. 

Do you Need a Divorce Lawyer?

Contact us today. Our experienced lawyers at RT Family Law are on your side to provide expert legal advice on your family law issues. A skilled family law lawyer will ensure that you’re getting the best representation in your divorce or family law disputes. We’re here to help you reach your desired family law outcome.

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