Keeping a family together after a divorce may seem like an oxymoron, but it is necessary for the emotional and mental health of the children. It can even benefit the divorcing parties.
The idea of ‘keeping a family together’ after a divorce is really about keeping the lines of communication open and being actively involved in the children’s lives.
Parents should provide a united front and support system for their children despite their personal feelings for each other. This may be extremely hard, but it can be achieved through perseverance and understanding.
The first step in keeping a family together after a divorce is counseling. A divorce can be emotionally traumatic and will create a shift in dynamics. Children may be tempted to “pick a side” and parents will blame each other for the dissolution of the marriage. None of this is healthy.
Divorce will cause lots of underlying anger and resentment to surface. It also requires a grieving process. Divorce is the death of a marriage and that is very painful. A mental health professional will be able to help the family work through all of these issues and acquire a sense of peace.
If either party is in a new relationship, take some time before introducing this person to your former partner or children. If the divorce is recent, wounds are still fresh and people can be resentful.
No matter the circumstances behind the divorce, the children or other partner may suspect this new partner had a hand in the dissolution of the marriage. It is best to have a brief sit down with the new partner and other parties, perhaps with the help of a counselor, to introduce them to the family.
This sit down should occur once the relationship becomes serious. The person will be spending time around the children and the other party has a right to know the person that will be around their children.
One party is bound to move out of the marital home after a divorce. Both parties should discuss this move with the children. The person moving away will impact the lives of the children. If they move to a new town or state it will impact the custody agreement.
Distance should never affect how active the party can be in their children’s lives, but this does happen. Custody agreements will also designate one party as the custodial parent. Custody arrangements can be joint, partial, or full.
The courts will look at factors like the parent’s stability, living situation, and employment when drafting an agreement.
Living close to the family can help the noncustodial parent stay active in their children’s lives and limit disruption.
Once parties feel more comfortable with each other, they may decide to do activities together. Planning a fun activity together can help foster a sense of togetherness for the children.
Of course, parties do not want to confuse the children into thinking they will get back together but they do want children to know they respect each other.
Families may also choose to share holidays. This can help alleviate the discomfort that arises from a separation. It is especially hard during the holidays and this may help the children feel more comfortable.
Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at the Hartman Group Can Help Families After A Divorce
We know that divorce is not easy and working together afterwards is harder, but it can be done.