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DuPage County parenting plan attorneyWhen couples decide to file for divorce, it is usually in the best interest of both parties. However, the initial changes that inevitably result from divorce can be difficult. They affect yourself, your lifestyle, your partner, and any children you may have. Children can handle divorce in unpredictable ways since they lack the life experience and maturity to fully understand their parents’ decision. Every family must formulate a parenting plan that includes scheduled visitation. Like most areas of children's lives, their new schedule is out of their control, which can make it difficult for them to adjust. Here are some tips to help if your kids are struggling with the parenting plan transition.

Be Nice to the Other Parent

Children pay attention more than you think. If you are talking negatively about the other parent (even if it is on the phone or to someone else), your children are probably listening. Hearing your complaints may make the children feel guilty about loving their other parent. It is important not to confuse the children and allow them to develop their own opinions about their parents.

Give the Children Their Own Space

In many cases, when parents split, one remains in the marital home while the other lives in a smaller residence. Regardless of the size of one parent's new place, it is important for every child to have their own personal space. Whether it is their own room or simply a designated area in the bathroom cabinet, they should feel like they have a place in your new home and in your new life.

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Novi MI child custody attorneyDivorce is an issue that many people will have in their lives and talking about it is not an easy task, especially when you have to tell your children about it. Handling the stress and emotions in your divorce may be worsened by apprehension about how you are going to tell your children and what their reaction will be to the news. However, you can make the conversation as easy as possible by following these simple tips to make the conversation as smooth as possible in the circumstances. 

Tell the Children Together

It will be easiest to tell all the children together and tell them with your significant other. Telling all the children the news while they are in the same room will let you and your significant other answer any questions the children may have where they can hear your answers to questions their siblings are asking. It is also best to tell them with your significant other and frame the divorce as something you both decided would be best. If you tell them alone and blame your significant other, you are poisoning them against their parent, which is not a good thing. Even if you can not stand your significant other, having two parents in their lives and working together to raise them will help your children greatly. 

Try to Emphasize Consistency

The divorce process often causes a lot of change in every family’s life, and your children may be worried about all the changes. Emphasizing that you and your spouse will keep loving them and will do your best to make sure their lives are affected as little as possible will give them the confidence that you are both well-meaning. 

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Farmington Hills divorce lawyerThe first worry on many parents’ minds when they decide they will get a divorce is how that will affect their children. Divorce can be hard for everyone in the family, but it can be especially hard on children. Depending on your child’s age, they may not understand what a divorce means and what it means for them. Each child is different, so it is hard to predict a child’s reaction to divorce, but much of their reaction depends on how you, as a parent, communicate and nurture your child during this trying time. Here are a few ways you can help ease your children into the change that a divorce brings:

1. Break the News in an Appropriate Way

When initially telling your children about your divorce, it is important that you keep things simple. Your 6-year-old child does not need to know that you are getting a divorce because your spouse has a habit of lying. Keep things simple by phrasing things like “Mommy and daddy are just not happy anymore, but a divorce will make mommy, daddy and you happier.” Older children may require a bit more detail, but the sentiment should be the same.

2. Encourage Your Child to Talk About His or Her Feelings

This is important because you can count on the fact that your children will have feelings about your divorce. Many times, not letting these feelings out manifests as misbehavior or acting out from your children. Let your children know that whatever they are feeling is OK and natural, but that it is important that they talk about their feelings.

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MI family attorneyWhen two adults divorce, you have to make a lot of changes in a relatively short period of time: where you live, who you live with, how you manage your money, who your friends are, and so on. As hard as it is to deal with all of these changes as an adult, imagine how much more difficult it can be for a child who has no control over custody and parenting time decisions.

What can you do to keep your children healthy and happy despite the divorce? Here is some simple advice compiled by the Oakland County Friend of the Court agency with input from professionals who have helped hundreds of divorcing families.

1. Stick to a routine.

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