It is never a pleasant experience for a child to have to witness his or her parents getting divorced. As the father, handling your child's questions and emotions poorly at such a time can result in long-lasting damage to their psyche, while also causing great harm to your relationship. Here are some steps you can use to help save your relationship with your child throughout the divorce:
Choose your Words Carefully
Children place great faith in what their fathers tell them. So it is important that you choose your words with great care while explaining to them the circumstances of the divorce. Emphasize the fact that the divorce will ultimately be a good thing for the family and result in a better living situation devoid of daily arguments and fighting between you and your spouse.
Avoid Talking About Improper Matters
You need to ensure that your child is not made to feel as though he or she has to take sides during the divorce. Avoid placing all the blame on your spouse, or trying to place your child in the middle of the divorce proceedings. If the grounds for divorce is infidelity or a similarly complicated reason that is unsuitable for young minds, wait till your child is old enough to better understand the reasons before revealing why the divorce had to take place.
Assure them of their Importance in your Life
The last thing a child needs to feel is that he or she is being relegated to the back-burner while you and your spouse fight out the divorce. Assure your child that you two will see each other regularly even after the divorce. Reassure your child of your continual love and support. Stay sensitive to your child's emotional state, and if needed, get the help of a professional therapist or counselor to explain parts of the divorce to your child in a manner that they understand.
Above all, help your child understand that it is not their behavior or actions which led to the divorce, and that they share no part of the blame for their parent's separation.
Prove to the Court your Worth as a Father
Child custody agreements in Illinois depend a great deal on the way the court perceives your relationship with your child. If the court believes you are a bad influence or an irresponsible father, they can stop you from seeing your child entirely. That is why it is important that you prove through your words and actions that you have the best interests of your child at heart.