How To Reduce Stress for Children of Divorce

Daily structure and routine can help your children feel more secure.

Children often find school stressful.  Add to that the anxiety and worries of a recent separation and it can be a very difficult time for children. 

Giving your children a solid foundation of daily activities can help alleviate stress, anxiety and help with the psychological well-being of both parents and children alike. 

Create a time table for your children so they know the routine. It may include getting ready for school, doing homework, personal time, transportation to and from each parent’s home, special activities such as organized sports and taking time just to be together. Set aside time for fun activities like a board games, sports and just hanging out together.

The bedtime routine might include taking a bath, brushing teeth and reading books.  As long as it is consistent and predictable, it will give your child a sense of security.

Even though your teenage children may resist you imposing a routine on them, they will benefit from some structure and routine in their day. You just might not get thanked for imposing it on them.

For some children, it is helpful is to let your children know in advance where they will be and what they will be doing in the future.

I used to post on the fridge a calendar showing “mommy days” and “daddy days”. I also inserted special activities such as their sports and special family events, birthdays and other activities on the calendar.

I remember finding a copy of the schedule in my son’s pocket one day. He said it made him feel better just being able to know what was happening next.  

Often during separation children demand a lot of attention from their parents. Give them the time they need. You likely have to share your time with the other parent so focus on your children when they are with you.

You can also normalize your child’s anxiety and fears. Let them know that it is okay to feel bad some days. It will get better one day.

If your children are really struggling, you may need to get them help of a Child Specialist who can offer your children individualized therapy and professional support.

Providing routine, consistency and letting your children know what is coming next will help to decrease their anxiety and fears.  Of course, if you ask your children they might suggest some ice cream will help too. Not a bad idea.  

Our lawyers can answer your questions about how to reduce your stress. Book a consultation today

Pre-Nuptial Agreement for Archie and Veronica?

Comic book chPre Nup Agreement with contract and pen visiblearacters Archie and Veronica are getting married. In the article, "Do Archie and Veronica Need a Prenup," by Globe and Mail writer, Roma Luciw, she poses the question, "Will they get a prenuptial agreement?"

It's a good question.

A pre-nuptial agreement (also called a marriage contract or a cohabitation agreement) states what will happen should the couple separate. It settles issue such as the division of property in advance of any issues arising and often in a way that is different than a judge would do.

Veronica is the more wealthy of the two so she would be wise to have an agreement in place. In my opinion, family law in Ontario is unfair because if Veronica owns a home on the day of marriage that she and Archie move into as their "matrimonial home" and then they separate, Veronica will have to share the entire value with Archie. It won't matter that she had, for example, $100,000 of equity built up in the home when they got married. She has to share the whole value of the home with Archie. This is not the case with other assets, just the matrimonial home. I have never thought that was fair.

I can imagine that Veronica's father may be very skeptical of Archie's motives. He may accuse Archie of being a  "gold digger". For that reason, Archie may want to have a pre-nuptial put in place just to show that he is marrying Veronica because he loves her (and not just her money).

Pre-nuptial agreements are useful if you want to protect a particular assets such as a family business, or you own a home that you and your beloved intend to occupy. Sometimes older couples who marry get pressure from their adult children to enter into an agreement so they won't lose their "inheritance" to the new partner if Gramma and Grampa separate.

A co-habitation agreement is a good idea if you are planning on living together instead of marrying. Common law separations can be complicated since the law is so ambiguous as to the rights of each person upon a separation. An agreement in advance (when you both still love each other) is a good idea so you both know what will happen should you separate.

By the way... Luciw reports that the creators of Archie say there will be no pre-nuptial agreement. I guess everyone is just hoping Archie and Veronica live happily ever after.

I've heard that one before!