by Ilan Acherman
There is no doubt that a divorce can be one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life. This year, that stress is magnified with a worldwide pandemic, stay-at-home orders, and the possibility of unemployment. When you have kids, it is important that you are able to manage your stress and avoid placing unneeded strain on your children. After all, it’s your divorce, not theirs.
Studies have shown time and again that increased stress from a drawn-out divorce or custody dispute can have significant adverse effects on children. While it may be impossible to completely insulate children from the stressors that come with their parents’ separation, there are some steps parents can take to minimize that stress and help insulate children from the worst parts of a divorce.
Practice Some Self-Care
Take the airlines’ advice – “put your oxygen mask on first before helping others”. If you are not coping with your own stress, you are likely adding to your children’s stress and you will not be able to help them cope. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help you cope with all the stressors that come with an ongoing divorce or custody dispute:
- Join a support group or seek out a counselor. You are not the first person to experience the difficulties that come with a divorce or custody matter. Let others who have experience in this field to help guide you through this process.
- Surround yourself with friends and family. You are not going through this alone, and making time to see or talk with friends and family can help you feel like you are part of a community again.
- Set aside time just for yourself.
- Stay physically active. Go for walks, go to the gym, or start a new exercise routine. Nothing helps your emotional well being better than physical activity. It helps relieve tension, anger, and anxiety.
Understand How The Process Affects Your Children
Take a COPE Class to understand how the divorce process can affect your children.
The Seminar for Separating Parents (the “COPE Class” as the Courts refer to it) can help parents understand:
- How to focus on the needs of children
- How to lower the stress of the children
- How to co-parent and work together for the benefit of children.
The COPE Class is not only a helpful tool for parents to understand how their divorce can affect children, it is also a requirement for all parents going through divorce in the Las Vegas area.
Your Children May Find Counseling Useful
This is likely the first time your children have gone through this process, and they may not know how to process the many emotion that come with their parents’ divorce. They need someone to talk to, but they may not know who they can turn to that will understand what they are going through. A licensed counselor or therapist can help children cope with the feelings and fears they may have as they go through this process.
Counseling is not for everyone, and it certainly is no panacea, but it can be a great resource for your children. You owe it to them to explore this option.
Resolve your Custody Issues First
For children, the most stressful part of a divorce can be the uncertainty over where they will live, and how much time they will get spend with each parent. Children, especially very young children, may even be scared that they will not get to see one of their parents at all. Establishing ground rules for custody and a regular timeshare early in the process is crucial for setting your children’s minds at ease.
Try Resolving Custody Before Resorting to Litigation
Speak with the other parent first to see what you can agree on before resorting to litigation. You may be surprised to find that there are more areas of agreement regarding custody than you may have thought.
Litigation will add to your stress and anxiety, and in turn, will add to your children’s stress as well. The more you can resolve without the need to resorting to litigation, the less stress you will place on yourself and on your children.
It is not always easy for parents to have these conversations, especially in relationships that may be breaking apart. It can help to have a disinterested third party, someone with no steak in the process and no personal relationship with either parent, help with the discussion.
The Family Court offers many resources for divorcing parents, and one of the most often used resources is the Family Mediation Center. Parents can contact the Family Mediation Center and set up an appointment for mediation.
Seek The Assistance Of A Qualified Family Law Attorney
Sometimes parents are just unable to resolve their disputes, and litigation may become a necessity. A qualified Family Law Attorney can help answer all of your questions, help you find any resources you may need as you are going through your divorce, and will help you navigate the complexities of the divorce process.
At Naimi & Cerceo, we pride ourselves on our ability to guide you through this process and help you see your divorce case through to its end.
Contact Naimi & Cerceo Family Law Today
The team at Naimi & Cerceo Family Law can help you through this difficult time so you can focus on your children instead of litigation. To work with a divorce attorney in the Las Vegas area, contact Naimi & Cerceo Family Law at (702) 901-4800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.