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IL divorce lawyerEnding a marriage is no easy decision, especially when you are a parent. As soon as you have children, your life is no longer about just you and you must also take into consideration how your actions will affect your child. Many parents put off the divorce and stay together for the kids in unhappy marriages in an effort to protect their children from the negative effects of divorce.

Studies have shown that it is not the divorce itself that leaves lasting effects on children, but rather, being exposed to their parents’ constant conflict was responsible for causing negative effects. There is no way to completely shield your child from your divorce, but understanding how your child might react to your divorce can help you prepare and guide them through the coping process.

Effects on Children

Each child is different and is going to react differently to divorce based on a variety of factors, but age and maturity level are two of the biggest factors affecting your child’s reactions. The age your child is when you get a divorce will also help you determine how you should help your child cope with the stress of the divorce. Here are the effects commonly observed in children of different age groups:

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IL divorce lawyerAny parent would agree that they would never do something to purposefully upset their child. Yet, for many children, divorce can be an upsetting event that can affect them deeply. Many parents are conflicted over whether or not they should get a divorce because of the effect it can have on their children. However, multiple studies have shown that children can adjust relatively easily to divorce as long as they are not subjected to their parent’s arguments and are kept out of the conflict. Still, many parents feel guilty when they decide to get a divorce. Here are a few tips to help you combat any guilt you may feel during your divorce:

Talk to Your Children About It

Feeling guilty is a normal feeling that many divorcing parents have. It is OK to feel this guilt and it usually helps to be honest with your children about what you are feeling. This does not mean that you have to convey messages that you do not mean, but it may help you feel better if you tell your children that you truly are sorry for the sadness the divorce is causing them.

Remember You Are Not A Bad Parent

One of the most important things to remember is that you are not a bad parent. Making the decision to get a divorce is usually not only made for your wellbeing but the wellbeing of your children. Though they might not know it yet, making the decision to get a divorce is in their best interest in the long run.

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IL divorce lawyerHaving a child puts everything into perspective. Instead of focusing on yourself, your goal is to make sure your children are happy, healthy, and grow up to be successful, well-adjusted adults. Many people falsely believe that the best situation for children is having two parents who are in a relationship with one another, but staying together for the kids can actually do more harm than getting a divorce.

Studies have shown that children who are subject to constant stress and conflict have more issues with anxiety, depression, anger, and social difficulties. However, there are also studies that show children whose parents divorced are actually well-adjusted and successful, suggesting there is a way you can help your children through divorce.

Helping Your Children Through the Process

If you are getting a divorce, you should be proactive about how you deal with the situation if you have children. Here are a few ways you can minimize the impact your divorce has on your children:

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IL divorce lawyerDivorcing with children is an entirely different situation than if you did not have children. Having children when you get a divorce means you have to deal with a different set of concerns and make even more decisions than if you did not have children. Parents often know how a divorce will affect themselves, but what they worry about is how the divorce will affect their children.

The effects that a divorce has on children manifests differently in each child. Some children may be minimally affected, while other children will have a harder time coping with the stress of the divorce. Getting a divorce does not mean that it will have lasting effects on your children, as long as you are able to help your children through the process. To do this, you must be able to recognize signs that your child is having difficulty coping.

Changes in Sleeping Patterns or Behaviors

When a child has difficulty handling stress in their lives, this can often manifest in a range of sleeping issues. Your child’s sleeping patterns may change. They may have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep. Younger children might regress to behaviors such as wetting the bed or wanting a pacifier. Night terrors are also common in younger children who cannot cope with stress. Older children may exhibit an increased need for sleep or they may not sleep enough.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,All areas of divorce are difficult: The decision-making, the legal process, and adjusting to a new lifestyle. For couples without children, divorce is a life change that happens on an individual level. However, once children are involved, the ending of a marriage involves your own healing as well as your children’s emotions about the decision. Telling your children about the split is half the battle.

What Do I Say (and Not Say)?

The way you present the news is almost as important as what you say. The following tips provide help on what you should say to your children when having the difficult conversation and how you should say it.

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