Children in Divorce
If you have minor children under the age of 18 (under 16 in Scotland ) they are an important part of any divorce, as there are issues with parent responsibility, child support and residence and contact, these are also known as custody and access rights.
A decision has to be made that is in the best interest of the minor children as the welfare and care of the couple's children is important. Your solicitor will approve the agreements concerning the minor children that you and your spouse have made. An experienced solicitor can help guide you to a settlement that the court will approve as being in the best interests of the minor children
If the court sees that arrangements have been agreed for a resident order, access rights for the other parent, school holiday arrangement sorted and any child support payments agreed the court will usually not interfere. If the court sees you haven't agreed any of these they will investigate the dispute and make certain orders considering the child's best interests. This stops the parents choosing but the judge making sure the child is happy and minimising the effect of the divorce on them. The court will decide how much time the absent parent can see their child in days, overnight stays and holidays.
Children often suffer in silence as it can be traumatic and distressing for them seeing their parents arguing when together and missing the parent who has moved out. You should try and be civilised when your children are around as arguing is going to upset you and them.
Are you struggling to tell your child about the divorce are they asking why mummy or daddy isn't around anymore. They will want to know how the divorce will affect them and what changes will happen. Telling your child together as mummy and daddy is the best option so you can both be there and answer their questions together, but this isn't always an option so carefully plan what your going to say. Here are a few pointers in helping you tell your child about your divorce: -
- Try and be there together, no arguing and tell them gently
- Make sure you try and not make your child take sides, as this is unfair on your child
- Have this talk when you have plenty of time, not when your about to go out somewhere
- Tell them about the changes that will happen
- Tell the truth to your child its better now, than them finding out later and getting angry you didn't tell them the truth
- If you have older children you may want to give them more information
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