Divorce is a highly emotional time for all parties involved, and unfortunately, that also includes children. Children of divorced parents often show higher levels of stress, depression and aggression than their peers from intact homes. Moreover, children from single-parent homes may be less physically healthy than children whose parents have remained married.

If you’re going through a divorce, there are ways you can help your children adjust to the changes, and it all starts with being present for their needs. Discuss what’s going on and what the future will look like, to help give them a sense of security moving forward. Closely listen to what they say, and pay attention to any changes in their behavior so you can better understand what they need from you.

Some tangible ways to help your children through divorce include:

  • Come up with a script to tell your children about the divorce in age- and maturity-appropriate way.
  • Minimize their exposure to arguments, discussions of legal aspects of the divorce and your negative feelings regarding the situation.
  • Stick to their usual routines as much as possible.
  • Be prepared to answer questions they may have, which may include concerns about with whom they will live, where the other parent will live and how often they will see them, whether they will have to change schools, what future holidays will look like, etc.
  • Help them express their feelings by asking specific questions (“You seem angry. Is there something making you feel angry?”).

Finally, keep in mind a flight attendant’s wise instruction to put on your oxygen mask first before helping another. That is, don’t forget to take care of yourself during this difficult time. Self-care is always important, but it is especially critical when you are also helping your children through divorce.

If you’re going through a divorce and would like support in helping your children through it, we can help. Send us a message or call us at (314) 454-9100 today.

Mr. Gold is head of AEGIS Chicago office.  He has close to 25 years of experience in structuring and executing transactions on both his own behalf and for a wide variety of primarily middle-market enterprises in healthcare, technology, real estate development, manufacturing and intellectual property.

His primary area of expertise involves tax-related issues with a concentration on structuring businesses and transactions utilizing partnerships and other flow-through entities.  Robert’s legal practice also has involved corporate advice including ownership-transition planning and governance, and the private placement and syndication of securities.

Prior to joining AEGIS, Robert was a Managing Director of The Chicago Corporation, an investment-banking firm, where he currently serves as general counsel and as a senior advisor.