If you know that divorce will be best for you and your spouse, then it could also be better for the children in the long run than continuing to live in a high-conflict house with a dysfunctional or unhappy parental relationship.
If you keep the focus on what will be best for your children, you and your ex can potentially make these big changes less painful for them.
Discuss the issue as a family
Learning about divorce can be a trauma and shock all on its own. You will eventually have to tell your children that everything they know and trust in life is about to shift dramatically.
Working with your spouse to facilitate this conversation and letting the children ask questions and express frustration will help with the healing process. It’s important to present a united front, ideally by agreeing ahead of time about what you need to tell your children.
Keep the details on a need-to-know basis
Grade-school children don’t need to know the details about adultery regardless of how upset or emotional one of their parents may be about the situation. You don’t have to lie to the children, but placing blame, speaking poorly about one parent or giving children too much information about the divorce or your emotional response to it can do more harm than good.
Stay positive about your ex and their relationship with the kids
Conflict between parents can be one of the most damaging aspects of divorce for children. Rather than picking fights with your ex or complaining about them all the way to the custody exchange, the better approach is to be positive and excited about your children’s next adventure. Focusing on all the good that your ex does as a parent will help promote a positive atmosphere.
Really try to focus on consistency and stability
A massive change to the family unit is hard for children to adjust to. The more that they can depend on as consistent and stable during this tumultuous time in their lives, the easier it will be for them to grow and overcome this challenge.
Maintaining the same household rules, keeping the kids in the same school system and after-school activities and even preserving family traditions like celebrating Taco Tuesday can all contribute to their sense of belonging and their confidence when navigating the world.
The more you focus on your children as you plan for shared custody after your divorce, the less likely you are to make decisions that could do more harm than good for your kids.