If you’re a parent considering divorce, one of your top priorities – if not the top one – is how it will affect your children. Some children are indeed negatively impacted by their parents’ divorce, sometimes well into adulthood. However, many negative impacts are preventable when parents are committed to their children’s well-being during and after divorce.
Children of divorce are most at risk when one or more of the following occurs:
- Their parents continue to fight after the split.
- One or both parents stops acting like a responsible adult.
- The noncustodial parent doesn’t maintain contact with the child.
- The child’s economic situation significantly worsens following the divorce.
- A stepparent rejects them or is harsh or abusive toward them.
When estranged parents commit to making their children’s well-being their mutual priority, this can go a long way to protecting them. That often means putting aside your own negative feelings about your co-parent.
It’s best for everyone if you can avoid a long, contentious divorce process. Perhaps you can even settle things via divorce mediation. If this process is right for you, it’s an excellent way to show your kids that the two of you can still work together despite your differences.
Children typically benefit from continuing to have both parents involved in their lives, and shared custody is more common than ever. Again, this requires cooperation on the part of both parents.
Getting used to moving between homes can be difficult for some kids. It’s up to parents to make these transitions easy and drama-free. Your ex likely doesn’t parent exactly like you do. As long as your children are safe and well-cared-for when they’re with them, that’s what matters.
Often, putting a detailed parenting plan in place as you work out your custody agreement can help minimize conflict and confusion later on. Your family law attorney can help you.