Divorce can be difficult for a couple, but challenges also arise when children are in the mix. Most municipalities consider the best interests of the child when it comes to mapping out custody agreements or other decisions, but couples can get the ball rolling by considering the children in each and every decision being made. This can ensure the divorce process — however difficult — leads to more positive outcomes.
Willingness to support each other. Adults get divorced for various reasons, notably because they no longer feel comfortable nor willing to stay together in the household. No matter what you feel about a soon-to-be or former spouse, it’s important to be cooperative with one another and work together to support relationships with the children. The more cooperative everyone is, the more supported and happy a child may feel.
Develop a common message. Do not use the divorce as a way to disparage the other person or shift blame, which can make co-parenting harder in the future. Get together to develop a common message on why you’re getting divorced and how you plan to be civil in the future when birthdays, marriages, sports practices and anything else comes up.
Let children have a say. Children who are old enough to have a voice should be invited to do so. A judge may even speak with a child around age 12 or older to find out his or her preferences about custody and visitation, according to Divorce.net. Children may naturally gravitate toward one parent, and when the marriage has ended, he or she may want to live with or spend more time with a particular parent. All considerations should be made to help children feel comfortable, even if it forces parents to make additional concessions.
Consider a child specialist. Children may appreciate the opportunity to speak with a family or child therapist who can lend an unbiased ear. In addition, a professional can review how you plan to interact and speak with the children so that the tone and the messages will be more well-received.
Expect and answer questions. Divorce is fluid, and even after the separation occurs children may still have questions or there will be an adjustment period. Being open, willing to talk and answer questions, and reinforcing that the divorce is not the fault of the child or children is important, indicates Yeatts Law Firm. Divorce is seldom easy, but when children are prioritized, they can walk away from the experience in a much more positive way.