When parents separate and the children are of the age where they can be told that mom and dad have decided not to be married anymore then children are exposed to their parents relationship beyond “mom and dad”. Children who live in an intact family household with both mom and dad in the home with no signs of divorce mostly know their parents to be parents. Much like when you grew up and had a teacher you saw everyday and never really thinking they were anything else but a teacher. It was an awakening when you became aware of the reality that your teacher was actually a person, with a life outside of the classroom. Maybe she or he was married, and had kids.
Our parents are usually our parents, the ones in authority, the ones who told us to go to bed, or do our homework. Maybe you saw your parents kiss or hug and show affection but for the most part they were parents and maybe people. Children of divorce are now exposed to their parent’s personal relationship, their intimate relationship. Children don’t necessarily need to know the intimate details of their parent’s sexual intimacy. In other words once the child is aware that the relationship has broken down, it is the next step to understand why. This break down can be the result of infidelity, and in this case the child is more away of the intimacies in their parent’s marriage. It is best to not expose children to the intimacies of their parent’s relationship when it comes to the sexual part of the union. The role of the parent becomes confused. It is best for children to learn that the marriage has ended due to irreconcilable differences such as communication breakdown and non-negotiable problems that cannot be resolved while in a marriage. If the divorce is amicable, hopefully because the divorce process was handled through mediation, then the relationship between the two spouses can most likely restructure to a fair and a civil union without the marital component. Both parents can remain in the child’s life equally and therefore the children are not entwined in the marriage or the divorce thereby preserving the childhood experience which we are all entitled to have. Hopefully for as long as possible.
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