We often discuss the emotional toll that a divorce may take on a couple, but we may not emphasize enough the impact a split may have on children. After all, few kids want their parents to break up or endure continued turmoil. In fact, they would rather have mommy and daddy to get along and stay together.

This is largely because kids don’t always understand why divorces happen, much less the uncertainty that a divorce can bring. Because of this, it is important for parents to tread carefully when explaining what will happen to the kids during and after a divorce.

This post will offer a few helpful tips.

Refrain from blaming the other parent – Most parents understand that marriage is a team effort, but they don’t realize that divorce requires them both to work together for the sake of the kids. As such, avoid blaming the other parent for the demise of the relationship, or the change in the family. This can end up hurting the kids involved.

Keep the kids out of the middle – As we alluded to earlier, kids generally want things to work out between their parents, and they will go to extraordinary extents to make this happen. However, children should not be used as pawns in parental power games and should not be used as spies.

Children should not have to choose – Invariably one parent will move out of the family home during the proceedings. A child close to the moving parent may want to move as well, with the staying parent delivering an impossible ultimatum to the child about where he or she should live. Simply put, children should not have to choose between their parents.

If you have additional questions about child custody and parenting time, an experienced family law attorney can help.