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Divorce With Teenagers

When you and your partner choose to separate, you aren't the only ones affected. In fact, your divorce can have a huge impact on your teen. Because of this, it's important that you take the necessary steps to help your teen deal with your divorce in a healthy way. Remember that even if you and your partner separate on amicable terms, your teen may feel the impact in various ways. As a result, your child could feel stressed, sad, anxious, or frustrated. All of these emotions are normal; however, it's important that you address them with your child. Talking openly about their feelings and what they can expect in the months to come is an important way of helping them cope with the new changes in their lives. During this transitional period, many teens will feel out of control or stressed, but gentle communication can help. Here's what you need to know about divorce and children especially teens.

1. Don't judge

Never judge your teen for the things they say during this time. Your teen already feels like their life is in chaos. They don't need to feel like they can't trust you or be open with you, as well. Avoid placing judgment on the situation at all, if possible. For example, don't speak poorly about your former spouse, yourself, your child, or any involved romantic parties. Instead, focus on making your teen feel safe and cared for. When you don't point fingers or place blame, your teen will naturally begin to feel more comfortable and will be more likely to open up to you. When your teen does choose to share with you, make sure you listen carefully to what your child is actually saying.

2. Be honest

Don't lie to your child about the divorce. While they don't need to know the specific causes of the divorce, especially if the separation is due to infidelity or another sensitive topic, make sure you're as open as possible with your child. Let them know early on that the divorce is happening. This way, they won't be caught off guard when you and your partner move into different homes. If your child will be living solely with one parent, discuss this. If they will be going to a different school, talk with your child. Don't hide information and don't lie to your child, as this will breed resentment and distrust.

3. Spend time together

While you'll likely be busy looking for a new job position, choosing a new home, and filing endless amounts of paperwork, make sure you find time to spend with your teenager. This will help them feel like you truly care. More importantly, it will help them feel grounded throughout this hectic time. If possible, spend time with both your former spouse and your child. If emotions are too high for that to happen, just make sure you spend regular amounts of time with your teenager. You don't have to do anything special. Sometimes just hanging out, watching a movie, or sharing a meal can make an incredible difference.

Divorce and children are a complex topic. No matter what led to your divorce, remember that you are not alone. Many parents separate from their partners and go on to lead satisfying and productive lives. More importantly, many of them develop incredible relationships with their teenagers. Divorce doesn't mean your teen has to struggle. Instead, it gives you a wonderful opportunity to focus on developing your relationship and moving forward as a family. If you have any questions concerning divorce and children call the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen for a free initial consultation. Peter Van Aulen has over twenty-five years of divorce and family law experience. He is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Attorney. He has edited or written over 300 articles on family/divorce law that are located on his blog and website. Also, Peter Van Aulen has taught continuing legal education family law classes to lawyers. In November 2018 he was the Co-Chair and a Speaker at the New Jersey Association of Justice Meadowlands Seminar on Family Law. Call 201-845-7400 today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
Our cousin used Peter's law office to help with a sticky custody situation. He was extremely responsive, very nice and most importantly did an awesome job with the court! He is awesome. Lawrence Polsky

*Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances