One a couple’s’ wedding day, it is all about two people standing in front of the other person and promising to try your best for the other. However, the sad fact is that this doesn’t always work out. Sometimes, fairy tales are just for the movies and TV shows. Sometimes, separating or divorce becomes the only available option and the one you have to take.

Two people who were once in love going through this is hard enough. But once you add a child- or children- into the picture? It becomes a whole different ballgame entirely.

It could be that getting away from your partner is the most important thing. Or perhaps the split is relatively amicable, and so you can find the divorce to be straightforward and as painless as possible. But your priority should be the well-being of your child or children during this difficult time.

Divorce and separation can be overwhelming enough as it is, without taking on the task of caring for your kid. So, let’s make it a little bit easier by looking at exactly what you need to do and not do for them.

First and foremost, you child needs to know that the divorce or separation is not their fault. Children can feel guilt and responsibility in huge amounts. They might be vocal about this to you, but it is also likely that they won’t mention it at all. To be on the safe side, have a clear conversation with them on this topic. Even if their presence in your life did cause some of the issues that led you to this stage, it is still not their fault. They need to understand this, in no uncertain times.

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From the point that the divorce or separation is decided upon, it is pretty much inevitable that your child’s life will change. A disturbance into your child’s everyday routine may be necessary as you alter who they live with and when. Keep this disturbance to an absolute minimum. Figure out not what is best in terms of custody arrangements for you and your partner. Instead, make your new arrangements based on what is best for your child or children. So, consider things like where their friends live, and see if you can have them near to them on the weekends. Conversely, where is their school or nursery? Is there a way you can make it so they are closer to hear during the week?

As the weeks and months pass, there is a good chance that your child will change in some ways. These changes may be good ones; they may become more independent. They may become fantastic at caring for their siblings. They may love having two bedrooms and two homes! However, some of these changes may not be so positive. Be sure that even after the worst is over, you are keeping an eye on their personality. You don’t want your troubles at home to seep into other areas of their life, like their school work.