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Helping children cope with separation and divorce in Ontario

In times past, the dissolution of a marriage catapulted a couple into the margins of society. Virtually no organizations existed to offer support through the before and after of separation and divorce. Experts in addressing the needs of children were few and far between. Since then, Ontario has become one of the most progressive provinces in offering assistance to divorcing couples and their children.

There is no one way to tell children that their mother and father no longer wish to live together. Moreover, when acting as parents, all adults address their children in ways characteristic of their personalities- -- some positive, some neutral and some negative. In a culture inundated with psychological insights- -- some more valid than others -- there now exist recommendations about how to best prepare a child for the changes to come.

It may seem counterintuitive but experts suggest that reassuring children should come before immersing oneself in the details and legalities of the upcoming changes. One scenario recommends first explaining that the reasons the parents are separating will lead to positive outcomes for each parent. Clear and comforting messages about the child's future security should immediately follow and be repeated as often as the child needs to hear them.

An experienced law firm with resources to offer such model scenarios as options for parents struggling with how best to help their children cope may be of immeasurable help. Ontario family law recognizes that separation and divorce encompass life changes to more than just two adults. The guidance of a family law lawyer could conceivably diminish anxieties about continuing to parent well while undergoing divorce.

Source:, "How To Help Your Child Cope Through A Divorce", Jillian Roberts, Jan. 16, 2018

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