Perhaps the best way to think about how divorce will affect your child is to put yourself in their shoes for a moment. You are four years old, and mommy and daddy say they don’t love each other anymore and are going to live in separate houses. What questions might run through your head?
- Does that mean they will stop shouting at each other?
- Where will you live?
- When will you see mom, and when will you see dad?
- What about your big sister? Where will she live?
- Will you still see grandpa? What about your cousins?
- Will you still go to the same kindergarten?
- What about the dog?
As long as you are not in an abusive relationship, it is vital for your child that both parents remain a part of their life. Remember the importance of other family members to your child, too. Kindergarten or school can provide vital stability during a difficult period, so think hard before moving to a different area.
Moving forward, you will need to define child custody, parenting time and any child support payments that need to be made. While your kids do not need to know about your divorce’s financial aspects, consider their needs. Paying child support to your ex can feel irritating, but the money should ensure your child has a clean place to live, food, clothes and other necessities. If you try and get a big financial win over your spouse when it comes to asset division, consider how this will affect your child and make your choices accordingly.
If you and your spouse can put your dislike for each other aside to concentrate on what is best for your child, divorce mediation could be a great option. It may be the best way to make sure that you and your ex-spouse stay on the same page where your child is concerned. Seek legal help to understand more about how the process works.