Top 10 tips for children dealing with divorce

Divorce is a challenging time emotionally and can be tough on children. In an effort to support the children of divorcing and separating parents, we’ve compiled our top 10 tips to help them minimise the stress.

1. You have the right to see both parents

As long as there are no safeguarding issues, you have a right to see and spend time with both parents.


2. Keep your parents informed of your ongoing needs and emotions

Keep both parents updated about how you are feeling and how they can help you to cope with the fallout from family breakdown.


3. Try not to bad mouth your parents

Do not bad mouth your parents – most parents only want the best for their children and do not want to put them through the stress of family breakdown. Although it can be difficult to appreciate, most people never set out to intentionally hurt each other.


4. Avoid feeling guilty

It is natural for you to maintain your love and relationship with both parents, so never feel guilty about the time you spend with each of them.


5. Refuse to act as a messenger between your parents

It is unfair of any parent to use you as a messenger service, so be clear that you refuse to act as one.


6. Be open to change and compromise

It is important to remain flexible during what is an emotionally challenging time. Try to avoid making any major decisions based on your current feelings. Once things have settled down, you can plan for the future more easily.


7. Ensure you are updated on arrangements that affect you

Explain how special days like birthdays and Christmas are still important to you and that you may wish to spend time with both parents, not necessarily together, during those times. Also ensure there are clear arrangements for which parent is responsible for getting you what you need – new shoes, money for school lunches, school uniform, text books, pocket money, organising your activities etc.


8. Keep up your own friendships and support network

Do not feel guilty about spending time with your own friends, instead of spending it with a parent. You need to enjoy your friends, relax and have fun as much as possible.


9. Avoid the tyranny of perfection

We all make mistakes, so let go of any quest for perfectionism. Neither your parents, nor you are perfect, so be as forgiving and understanding as you can. It will make moving on much easier.


10. Continue to see wider family members

Explain that this is important to you and tell your parents how you feel. It is unfair for them to stop you spending time with those who you love and care about and equally, it’s important for you to enjoy the love and care of wider family members.


If you would like any advice on separation or divorce, we offer an initial no obligation consultation for £50 (incl. VAT) for up to one hour, where you can chat to a family lawyer about the impact it may have on your specific circumstances. To book, please call us on 01444 472700, email us on or complete the form below.


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