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Make divorce as easy as possible — on your kids

Divorce in Florida is complicated. It is complex enough to challenge educated adults. In fact, even some of our lawyers here at the Law Office of Philip J. Schipani had to go through extra certification and training to fully comprehend the process — even after they got their law degrees.

With this in mind, imagine how hard it must be for kids — children who have never dealt with any legal matters in their life — to get a grip on what is actually happening. This confusion often generates secondary emotions that could trouble young people for years to come.

Courts in Florida take into account the best interest of the child when they assign custody. It could help for you, as a parent, to start thinking in this mindset, too. Here are a few things that you could do to put your kids first, helping them understand the process and potentially feel better long-term.

Your first step is often going to be initiating a conversation. It might seem easier to sit back and wait for your children to come to you with their questions, but this is rarely a practical approach. Instead of meditating on the issue and asking a considered question, most kids will just act out. By starting out by asking a simple question, you have a chance to control the situation in which these emotions emerge.

Once the conversation starts, you probably should try to answer only the questions your kid asks. Try to switch off your teacher mode. Children often ask the questions that are important to them — these are the answers they need, personally.

It may also be wise to avoid the inclinations to vilify your partner or assume all of the responsibility yourself. Pause before answering each question, and try to form examples that involve your relationship rather than use references to each of your individual actions. 

There is no guaranteed way to help a child feel better about divorce. Sometimes, time is the only thing that is able to help. However, these steps combined with a favorable custody agreement both often form the foundation for a strong, happy childhood. Please read more on our main site.

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Schipani and Norman, P.A.
1605 Main Street, Suite 1110
Sarasota, FL 34236

Phone: 941-549-8981
Fax: 941-366-7331
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