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Raising children through a divorce and beyond

Rhode Island residents realize that divorce can be a very challenging time. Divorce not only affects the spouses involved, but the children as well. The ability to help children through a divorce may serve a dual purpose in also assisting the parents to get through the transition.

When one is considering a divorce, or in the middle of a divorce, there are numerous family law issues that will arise, particularly pertaining to the children involved. Children who are older and about to go off to college or children who are younger and who may not fully understand the circumstances of the divorce, should be handled differently than children between the ages of 9 and 12. This is a critical growth period for children both mentally and physically.

The divorcing spouses should make sure that their children are validated. This means listening to their feelings, even if it causes momentary additional pain and grief. Children are adaptable and have the ability to face new circumstances, but it is important that the parent make this transition on the child's timetable, not the spouses. The child needs time to grieve the loss of their original family and once this task is completed, their mental state will be more open to the changes that will follow, not only during the divorce, but long after the final papers are signed.

If separating spouses are having a difficult time controlling their emotional issues and feel that it is negatively affecting their children, family law mediation might be an option. Mediations are an alternative for spouses who do not wish to go the traditional, often costly route of litigation. Spouses can have the option to involve their children in the mediation, particularly if this is the primary issue for tension. The goal of mediation is to have all the goals and wishes and feelings of each party heard and ultimately come to a satisfactory solution for all parties involved.

Any Rhode Island resident contemplating or going through a divorce should not hesitate to reach out for help. Experienced family law professionals can help one determine what the right solution would be for the individual family.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Tips to Help Children Through Divorce", August 20, 2013

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Law Office of Steven J. Hirsch, Esq

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