“Daddy, why don’t you live with Mommy anymore?” “Do you still love me?”

Explaining to a child the complicated mess that is divorce can be tricky. It’s no secret that children often come out of a divorce traumatized. Their whole life is suddenly turned upside down, and, if Dad and Mom are openly fighting in front of the kids, that often makes it worse.

While you might not be able to protect your child from divorce entirely, you can do your part to make sure that the emotional damage is minimal. Here are a few tips:

Love your child!

Divorce is a traumatizing, confusing time for a child. It can be especially difficult for a young child to understand why Daddy and Mommy no longer love each other. It can make your child wonder whether he or she can also lose your love. Remind your child frequently that you do love him or her and that your love will not go away.

Avoid name-calling.

Many childhood fights stem from a comment made against one’s self, siblings, or parents. If a child can become so incensed by a peer’s implication that Dad or Mom is less than perfect, imagine the damage if you’re the one calling your ex names. No matter how upset you might be with your spouse, keep in mind that he or she is still a parent and what you say about your ex can hurt your child.

Fight fair.

If you’re in the midst of a messy Maryland divorce, it can be easy to get caught up in the tricks of the courtroom, including flinging accusations against your spouse. Don’t do it. Consult with an experienced Maryland divorce attorney to negotiate a fair settlement without resorting to courtroom shenanigans.

Don’t involve your child.

Yes; custody of your child is a serious issue. However, a Maryland child custody battle does not have to involve coercing your child into hating your spouse. Your child will be much less traumatized if you simply present the facts to the judge and explain — without dragging your spouse’s reputation through the dirt — why you want custody to be done a certain way.


If you cannot reconcile your marriage, it might seem impossible to agree on anything else. However, if you and your spouse can set aside your frustrations long enough to focus on what’s best for your child, you can end up with a much more agreeable settlement for all involved.

Talk to an experienced Maryland divorce and custody lawyer who can help you make the transition go smoothly. Call Nickelsporn and Lundin at 1-800-875-9700 for a free consultation.