Going through a divorce with a child under 3 years old

| Feb 17, 2021 | Divorce

Most parents go through a divorce when their child is in school. There are many reasons why parents decide to get divorced, but often the demands of parenting take a toll on the relationship, meaning that disagreements and a sense of alienation can occur. If you have a child under 3 years old and you believe that divorce is on the horizon, you will potentially have concerns about how the divorce will affect your child, as well as whether alimony and child custody arrangements will be reasonable.

Even if children age 3 and under are not able to talk about the concept of divorce or fully comprehend it, they can still be negatively affected by divorce. The following is an overview of how you should try to address the prospect of divorce when your child is under the age of 3.

The needs of children under age 3

Children under the age of 3 need to feel that their parents will be there for them consistently. They are surprisingly astute to the emotions of their parents, even from as young as 3 months. Therefore if they see that you are angry, sad or anxious, they can be negatively affected by this. It is important that you try to protect your child from your negative emotions and that you provide them with consistency.

Actions speak louder than words

A child under 18 months will not benefit from explanations of divorce. However, they will benefit from physical soothing. Children over 18 months may feel upset but not able to understand why they are upset. You may be able to help them to identify the reason why they are sad and give them a comforting reason why they do not need to be. For example, inform them that they are sad because their mom is not there, but reassure them that they will see them tomorrow.

If you are going through a divorce and you are the parent of a child under 3, make sure that you take action to understand your legal rights.