When it comes to matters of divorce, issues involving the children are often top of mind. Parents worry not only child custody and visitation schedules, but they also want to know their children are going to be OK as they transition through the divorce.
What is amazing to many divorced parents — who have come out on the other side — is how well children can adjust. Not only do children from divorced families go on to thrive emotionally and academically, these same kids can continue to live well-adjusted lives, having meaningful relationships with both of their parents. However, this is not something that typically just automatically happens. Rather, parents need to work together — even if they are no longer legally together — to do what is right for their children.
When it comes to co-parenting, the general rule is that the children must come first. In this post, we will focus on the top three things to keep in mind when it comes to children and divorce.
No. 1: Create a solid co-parenting plan
Parents need to sit down and map out all aspects of parenting. This includes having not only a set schedule, which addresses holidays, but also needs to set expectations and parenting guidelines. For example, you will want to make sure that discipline is the same at mom’s house as it is at dad’s house and vice versa. You will also want to make sure that when it comes to parenting and core values, both you and your ex are on the same page.
In addition to expectation setting, parents also need to learn to make decisions together, especially when it comes to the big ones, such as those involving religious upbringing and medical issues.
No. 2: Leave the kids out of the middle
It may be tempting to complain about mom in front of the kids, or blame dad for why something happened. However, no good will come from bashing one parent to a child. Rather, parents need to find effective ways to communicate with each other, without going through the child. Along these same lines, parents should avoid fighting with or saying negative things about the other parent in front of the child, as no good can come from this.
No. 3: Make sure the plans are right the first time
Even for those with the best intentions, divorce can be complicated and messy. When it comes to children though, everything needs to be set right the first time. This is why having the trusted guidance of a family law attorney is highly recommended when it comes to divorce and children’s issues.
At Lloyd & DuPuy PLLC, we handle the multiple aspects of divorce. With family law issues, including those related to child custody and parenting plans, our initial approach is to try to negotiate an outcome that both sides can live with. However, if this is not possible, we build our cases ready to litigate in the courtroom.