A separation is never easy on anyone involved, but children may be the hardest hit of all. Illinois parents who have gone through a divorce know that children can often blame themselves and seek reassurance from their parents. While it is best to conclude a divorce quickly and amicably to ensure the transition is as easy as possible, there are ways to mitigate hurt by answering children’s questions as they arise.

Quite often the first question children will ask of divorcing parents is simply “why” — specifically, why is the relationship ending? While most parents may not find it entirely appropriate to discuss the “real” reasons for a separation, it can be important to explain to children that while the relationship between parents may have changed, the parents’ relationship with the child remains constant. As children are by nature self-centered, they may feel responsible for the breakup — parents may benefit from reassuring children they are not at fault.

Another common question is one of custody. Children want to know which parental figure they will be living with when the separation is concluded. This is a very important question, and one that parents should answer for themselves well in advance of their child asking. Child custody is often hotly contested in divorce situations, so coming to an agreement ahead of time can be beneficial both for the couple and for any children involved.

These questions are by no means easy to answer. In fact, divorce can be one of the most challenging periods in anyone’s life, adult or child. Illinois parents facing divorce may wish to seek support in resolving their divorce filing efficiently and quickly in order to facilitate all parties moving forward in a positive way. This may be especially beneficial when children are involved as there could be issues regarding custody and child support to work out between the divorcing spouses.

Source: Huffington Post, “Children Of Divorce: How To Answer Their Three Most Important Questions,” Bridget Mallon, July 6, 2013