Divorce is a confusing time for children. Their lives are about to change dramatically, and they often do not understand the causes. Parents have the difficult task of helping their children understand why the change is taking place, as well as how their lives will be affected. Whether the parents and the court decide on sole custody or timesharing, it is important for the children to have a basic understanding of what their new schedule will look like.
According to Parents, the first step to explaining custody with children is to show that the parents are working together. While divorcing spouses may find it difficult to cooperate with each other, the sacrifice is for the sake of the children. After reassuring them of their parents' collaboration in the decision as well as each parent's continuing love for the children, most young ones would benefit from at least a basic outline of their new living arrangements. Going into too much detail may overwhelm younger children, so keeping it simple is best.
KidsHealth warns that children whose parents are going through a divorce may react in unprecedented ways. Their behavior may become unruly at home or at school, but parents should respond with patience and understanding. While the children are working through the transition, each parent should be prepared to answer questions regarding what the future holds. Children should never be shamed for the questions they ask. Rather, they should feel secure enough in their relationship with each parent to express any confusion or concerns they have.