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Perspective from a Child of Divorce, Discussed by Family Law Attorney Leslie Fineberg

By Nottage and Ward on September 26, 2012

As an experienced divorce attorney in Chicago, Leslie Fineberg recognizes that there is no established set of rules that state how a child will react to or cope with the divorce of their parents. Of course, there are factors that can contribute to how a child handles divorce, including the way in which a child’s parents choose to tell them about it, but every child’s personality is different and therefore each will respond differently. There are some insights that can help adults and divorcing parents understand what children of divorce go through and how best to interact with them during divorce, however, and these insights come from children of divorce.

According to an article in The Huffington Post, the peer counselors at the non-profit National Family Resiliency Center (NFRC), ages six through adulthood, have all experienced some family transition, such as divorce, and are trained to help other individuals and families who are going through similar situations. One such young adult peer counselor shared some important advice for how parents can help their kids get through family transitions:

  1. Don’t “parentify” your kids. Sharing your adult problems with your children and confiding in them can create a reversal of roles where your children can feel like they are expected to take care of you.
  2. Co-parenting is essential. Get the support you need to deal with the financial, emotional, and parenting challenges that come your way after divorce, so that you can still provide your children with the dedicated support they need from both parents.
  3. Be mindful of your children when making the decision to date again. Don’t force your new significant other into their lives.
  4. Getting your children to express their feelings is important. Don’t look down on therapy as it could help them open up (although it is not for everyone).
  5. When in elementary school, children of divorce need consistent discipline, routines and solid co-parenting. Adolescents need boundaries.

How you approach and handle your divorce with your children, as well as the child custody and support arrangement you establish, can have a profound impact on your children’s future happiness and success. At Nottage and Ward, our child custody attorneys in Illinois understand the need to put your children’s best interests first and can help you resolve your divorce and custody agreement to reflect that. To speak to attorney Leslie Fineberg about your particular situation, call our offices today at (312) 332-2915.

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