Stages of a Massachusetts Divorce for Children

by | Jan 15, 2024 | Divorce |

A Massachusetts divorce means changes not only in your life but also in the lives of your children. Usually, this experience is quite traumatic for minors. Therefore, it will be useful for you to know what stages your child is going through during your divorce. 


In the context of divorce in Massachusetts, confusion often grips children during the denial stage. Abrupt shifts in daily routines, lifestyles, and family dynamics can leave them feeling disoriented and perplexed. Questions about the unfolding events may arise, and children might even shoulder unwarranted blame for their parents’ separation, intensifying their sense of confusion. At this juncture, adults must play a crucial role in offering reassurance by providing lucid explanations of the situation, underscoring that the child bears no responsibility for the divorce.


In the realm of co-parenting after divorce, it becomes crucial for parents to establish a safe environment for their child. Fostering open communication about the child’s anger and offering outlets to release pent-up emotions prove to be highly beneficial. It’s important for the adults in the child’s life to affirm the normalcy of feeling anger and to steer them toward healthier coping mechanisms, such as journaling or engaging in physical exercise.

In exploring how to divorce without hurting your child, it’s common for children experiencing their parents’ divorce to assign blame to one of the parents. They might believe that the divorce could have been avoided if only one parent had behaved differently. In such instances, it’s crucial to convey to parents and guardians that divorce is a nuanced decision involving both parties, and it cannot be solely attributed to the actions or decisions of one individual.

By acknowledging the child’s anger and helping him or her understand the source of that anger, parents can help him or her through this difficult phase of divorce with compassion and support.


  • In understanding what is a parenting plan in divorce, it becomes crucial for parents and guardians to acknowledge their child’s feelings of sadness and grief. Encouraging open discussions about emotions and providing avenues for expression through art or writing are vital. It’s paramount to reassure the child that experiencing these emotions, including sadness, is entirely normal during this period.
  • In addition, providing stability and consistency during this time will help to alleviate some of the sadness children feel. Maintaining a regular routine as much as possible, providing reassurance about the relationship with both parents and ensuring that they have support (such as attending therapy sessions) will help children through this stage of your divorce.


Fear and insecurity are common emotions that children experience when their parents divorce. Uncertainty about their future, including where and with whom they will live and how their lives will change, creates a sense of instability and anxiety. It is important for parents to talk about these fears openly and honestly, reassuring them that they are loved and cared for despite the changes in their family dynamics.

To alleviate feelings of fear and insecurity, parents should maintain constant communication with their children throughout the divorce process. Keeping them informed of upcoming changes or decisions will reduce their anxiety. Creating a stable environment by establishing predictable routines and limits will provide a sense of security in the midst of all the upheaval.

Parents should also encourage open dialogue about any problems or concerns that arise during this stage. By actively listening to their child’s fears without judging or rejecting their feelings, parents will provide valuable support and understanding. Activities such as journaling or drawing can help to cope with these difficult emotions.


Over time, children who are going through a parental divorce begin to enter the stage of adjustment and acceptance. During this phase, they adapt to the new circumstances and accept the changes in family dynamics. It is important for parents and guardians to provide stability during this phase by maintaining consistent routines, reassuring the child that they are loved and supported, and encouraging open communication about any concerns or issues.

Additionally, giving children a voice in decisions that affect them can help them feel empowered and accept the divorce. Involve children in discussions about visitation schedules or give them some control over personal belongings during the transition from one home to the other.

It is important for adults involved in a child’s life during these stages of divorce to be patient, as the process of adjustment and acceptance takes time. Each child will go through this stage at his or her own pace, so consider his or her individual needs to help him or her through it successfully. 


  1. As children move through the stages of divorce, it becomes crucial to help them develop healthy coping mechanisms and access appropriate support systems. Encouraging activities such as a new hobby, sport, or creative pursuits can help to provide a distraction during this difficult time. These activities will allow your child to express themselves and channel their emotions in a positive way.
  • Establishing a strong support system is essential for children to get through all stages of divorce. Close friends, family members, or even professional psychotherapists who specialize in child psychology can help. Having people who can listen without judgment and give advice will go a long way in helping children cope with their emotions and adapt to the changes caused by divorce.
  • Parents should also prioritize their own well-being during this period so that they are prepared to support their child’s needs. Taking care of their own mental health will ensure that parents are emotionally able to support their children through the various stages of divorce.

By encouraging healthy coping mechanisms and providing access to reliable support systems, adults will help their children face the various challenges of divorce with resilience and strength.


As time passes, children experiencing parental divorce will gradually begin to heal and move forward. This stage is marked by acceptance of the new reality and a sense of resilience. They adapt to the new circumstances and find ways to overcome difficulties. 

Parents and guardians play a crucial role in supporting children during this stage. Encouraging them to do things they enjoy and fostering healthy relationships with others will help in their healing process. It is important that the adults involved provide the child with continued reassurance that they are loved, valued, and supported, even if their family dynamics have changed.

Moving forward after a divorce does not mean forgetting the past but rather learning from it and embracing the present with optimism. By creating an atmosphere filled with love, understanding, and stability, parents can help their children develop the resilience to get through the final stages of divorce and help them become stronger.

Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.

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