The decision to divorce is never an easy one to make, but when you have children, it becomes even less so. How will your children react to the news? What long-term effects will it have on their emotional well-being? Are you making the right decision? A Fort Myers divorce attorney is prepared to help you address these common concerns and navigate whatever comes next.

The First Year Is the Hardest

Your divorce attorney in Fort Myers may warn you that the first year after a divorce is the hardest, and rightfully so. During this period, kids are more likely to experience anger, stress, anxiety and disbelief. Young children may struggle to understand why they must transition between two homes, while grade school children may internalize the divorce and assume it is their fault. Teenagers may act out and blame one or both parents for the dissolution of the marriage.

That said, most adolescents bounce back within a year or two. They get used to the changes in routine and accept that their parents are happier apart.

For Some, the Effects of Divorce Are Ongoing

Unfortunately, there are some children for whom the divorce has life-long consequences. Though your Fort Myers divorce attorney can advise you on what to expect, there are certain issues of which you should be aware. For instance, studies show that children of divorce exhibit higher rates of depression and anxiety. Children of divorce also tend to externalize issues and display increased behavioral issues. Many of these issues tend to affect academic performance or lead to increased risk-taking.

Helping Your Children Adjust to Divorce

Fortunately, there are ways you can lessen the emotional impact of divorce for your children. Agree to co-parent peacefully, never involve your children in your disagreements and always show respect for the other parent. It’s equally important to maintain a healthy relationship with each child, use consistent discipline across both households and encourage each child to discuss his or her feelings. Finally, work with a Fort Myers divorce attorney who has experience with divorces involving children, and who can guide you toward an amicable outcome.

Contact us today for more information and a free phone consultation at (239) 333-0077 or fill out the online contact form after hours.