Even a well-handled divorce is a huge upheaval. For your kids, as for you, the first step toward adjusting to the "new normal" is facing and working through the tough feelings associated with the changes and losses they're experiencing.
Welcome to the unknown, brave new world of co-parenting, or perhaps its more complicated sibling, co-parenting with stepparents! Splendid. Little disagreements that turned into giant disputes when you were married are now exponentially worse as a divorced couple.
Many divorcing parents put all their attention on helping their younger children cope while assuming that their teenager will understand and adapt. Unfortunately, in many cases teens deal with divorce in more self-destructive and dangerous ways than younger children.
For divorcing couples with young children, resolving immediate critical issues -- from custody and time-share arrangements to education and religious involvement -- is just the beginning of their long-term work as co-parents.
Most of the time, people respect the "divorce is hard" placard I carry and don't probe. But quite a few times I've gotten a certain response to my attempts to change the subject that has pissed me off.