What Kids Need to Know

Hi!  We are lawyers who work with families, and as part of that, we deal with stuff about kids every day.  We know you are having a really hard time right now.  We have talked to other lawyers, judges, psychologists, teachers, parents and kids to put together some things for you to know and remember as you go through this big change in your life.

  1. YOUR PARENTS’ DIVORCE IS NOT YOUR FAULT.  There are a lot of reasons why adults get divorced and it is a very difficult decision for them. Divorce with kids is especially hard for a couple. But you are not to blame for why your parents are separating.  Nothing you said or did caused this to happen.  Nothing you can say or do will make your parents stay together or get back together.
  2. Your parents are separating from each other.  They are not divorcing you.  Both of your parents love you and will always love you.  Divorce is an adult problem and it will be handled by the adults.
  3. You do not have to choose a side or pick one parent over the other.  Your parents will not live together anymore, but they will try hard to make sure that you see both of them as much as possible.
  4. Your parents might get angry and stressed out sometimes because they are working on a lot of grown-up problems.  Remember that they are not mad at you and that they both want what is best for you.
  5. Your parents know that you have important things in your life like school, sports, music and friends, and they will try to make sure that things stay the same for you as much as possible.
  6. Your brothers and sisters are going through the same things you are.  You should lean on each other when you are feeling down and help each other feel better.
  7. It is OK to be angry, scared, confused or embarrassed about your parents’ divorce.  But you should try hard to tell your parents how you feel.  You can also talk to your teacher, counselor, grandma/grandpa or other adult you trust.  A lot of people—including other kids—have parents that are separated or divorced.  They will be able to help you if you talk to them.

Divorce is SCARY. It’s OK to be scared.  The affects of divorce on kids usually includes being scared and confused. Below is some information—straight from the lawyers—about how divorces work to help you understand what is going to happen over the next couple of months.

Contact us at 919-783-9669 today to discover how our lawyers can help you handle divorce with kids.

Your parents are going to stop living together.  They will probably hire lawyers to help them talk about where you are going to live.  You will always be welcome in both of your parents' houses and now you will have two bedrooms, two sets of clothes and games and toys at two houses instead of one.

Things are different in real life than they appear on TV.  Just because your parents have lawyers, it does not mean they are fighting and it does not mean that they will go to court.  It just means that they need a little bit of help working through things. If your parents do end up in court, the judge will not be scary or mean or put anyone in jail.  He or she will also be there to help your parents decide on the best way to take care of you.

Your parents will sit down with their lawyers, and maybe with a judge, to talk about how you will spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, your birthday and other holidays.  They will try hard to make sure you get to see both of your parents on all of your special days.  They will also talk about stuff like vacations and making sure you can talk to both of your parents on the phone.  As for your parent-teacher conferences, school stuff, sports games, plays and recitals, it is pretty likely that both of your parents will always be invited and try hard to be there for you.

Your parents and their lawyers will probably come up with an agreement that will be written down and have information for them about lots of things.  Your stuff belongs to you and your parents will try hard to respect your wishes about what happens to it.  But the other stuff in your house might stay where it is, or go with the parent that moves out.  Either way, it will still be part of one of your homes.

Once your parents have worked everything out, and they sign some papers (and sometimes a judge signs too), the divorce will be over and everything will go on like it used to—except your whole family will not live in the same house anymore.  You will still see both of you parents, but you probably will not see them together very much.  Your parents might make new friends and maybe even eventually marry somebody new, but no one will ever replace your mommy or daddy and nobody will ever make your parents stop loving you.

Call us to discuss your unique needs and goals.