You and your spouse plan to split up, and you already broke the news to your kids. They took it better than you expected. Yes, they did have a lot of questions, and you spent hours talking together after they found out, but it went well overall.
You're glad because those kids are your main focus. You know that divorce can get tough for the children, and you want to do everything you can to help them through this period in their lives. You want to give them stability, love and excellent parenting, even if you and your spouse won't be together while you do it.
Here are a few things your kids need after the divorce:
1. Routine and structure
Children do not want their lives to change dramatically. They understand the structure that they already enjoy, and they like their routines. Try to keep them the same.
For instance, your children may feel more worried not about the marriage ending, but about leaving their home. Does this mean they lose their friends in the neighborhood? Does it mean they have to go to a new school? These changes are huge and unwelcome for young children. Try to limit them as much as possible.
2. No more conflict
If you had a high-conflict marriage, ending it may help the children. Exposure to things like heated arguments and verbal fights can cause emotional harm -- and that's not even getting into the issues of physical violence. After the divorce, make sure the conflict really leaves their lives. Never argue with your ex in front of them, for instance.
3. Financial stability
Finances can get tight after a divorce. The legal process costs money. Couples split up their assets. You have new costs; for instance, now you both need to pay rent or a mortgage.
However, you need to strive for financial stability so that the kids get what they need. They should never have to worry about where they'll sleep or where their next meal will come from. Prioritize them and make sure you set yourself up economically to provide for them.
You already started with communication by talking to your kids and answering their questions. Keep it up. Be there for them whenever they want to talk. Involve them in decisions. Ask them questions. Help them feel like a valued part of the family, not just another asset you and your ex get to deal with.
As you move forward, make sure you know what legal steps you can take to put your kids first and secure their future. Having a solid parenting plan and understanding your custody rights will help you tremendously.