A Tennessee divorce is difficult for everyone involved, but it can be especially challenging for children. Although parents will likely be preoccupied during the proceeding as they sort out support issues, property division, custody and visitation, it is important to remember the children. Embracing viable strategies to protect and prepare the kids is essential.

There are two key factors to address: telling the children about the divorce and assisting them with the grieving process. The children should be informed with honesty and understanding. A critical part is to emphasize that they are not responsible. Making certain the child still feels love and affection from both parents is key. Routines can be adhered to while preparing them for changes and giving them encouragement to ask questions. This can prevent severe reactions.

The time for mourning should not be ignored. A child who does not express sadness about the end of his or her parents’ marriage could be holding back their feelings. Retreating into a shell can make matters worse, so it is imperative that the child be free to react. This is also a situation where reassurance is necessary. An explanation of what happens in the divorce, how long it will take, the potential outcomes and how it will impact them can be helpful. It may not eliminate sadness, but it may assist in moving forward.

Parents are advised not to put the children in the middle with negative comments about the other parent. Nor should they provide intimate details as to why there is a divorce or try to negatively influence the child’s relationship with the other parent. Parents should also think about their own interests in the divorce. Consulting with a legal professional experienced in family law can help with these issues and more.