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Tips for putting your kids first during divorce

A divorce is never easy. When you took your vows with your spouse, you did not imagine yourself ending up here. You are likely feeling a whirlwind of emotions, including anger, resentment, anxiety and grief. During this tumultuous time, it can be difficult for you and your spouse to put aside your differences for what is best for your children.

But the goal of Michigan's child custody laws is to do what is in the best interests of the children. While it may be tricky to wade through all the emotions and legalities to put your kids first, here are a few points to guide you toward a child-centered divorce.

Keep the arguments private

It is likely that you and your partner are not very fond of one another right now. Maybe every conversation ends up – or even starts – as an argument. But if both of you want to help ease the negative effects of the split on your kids, you can come to one simple agreement: to not argue in front of the children. You will have plenty of other opportunities to hash things out and negotiate. Try to keep things civil when the kids are present.

Consider putting them in counseling

Watching mom and dad break up can be traumatic for your children. This is an uncertain time for them and they may be unable to express their emotions to you. Many kids withdraw or act out in an attempt to deal with complex emotions. Think about letting your kids see a therapist so they can work through their feelings of loss, guilt or anger in healthy ways. 

Focus on quality time

Your children need you now more than ever. Make it a priority to be present with your children. Be as nurturing as possible. Spend time on a mixture of fun, meaningful, exciting and relaxing activities. At the same time, try to establish a routine to make things as easy as possible.

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