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How to Navigate the Murky Waters of Divorce - Part Two

Posted on in Divorce

child-custodyFive Tips in Handling Child Placement and Custody

By: Steve Lant & Attorney Richard Reilly

The custody and placement of children are, quite possibly, the two most emotionally wrenching issues in any divorce and often drive the progress of the case. Even if the proceedings run smoothly, the emotional repercussions can affect children for years.

What happens to your children as a result of the divorce should always be your first priority. It is paramount that they are consistently reassured that both parents love them and will be a part of their life no matter the final outcome of the legal battle. While the court may involve other experts, if handled appropriately, both parents should become the driving factor in what happens. The following article in our series on "How to Navigate the Murky Waters of Divorce" provides five tips to consider when children are involved:

  1. Communicate with the other parent - Regardless of what happens during the divorce, you are both still parents and as such, both responsible for the welfare of your children. Failing to communicate about the children's activities, school or medical issues is a sure fire way to create unnecessary strife.
  2. Do not involve the children in any aspect of the divorce - Children should neverbecome involved in the issues of the divorce. It should be made very clear to them that they are not the cause of your situation and that the divorce case is between their parents.
  3. Create a comfortable home environment in both households - Placement of children, both during and after the divorce, is not a competition. The children should feel welcome in both homes and look forward to being with both parents.
  4. Never speak ill of the other parent - These remarks will inevitably make their way back to the ears of the other parent and serve no purpose whatsoever. Additionally, they could undermine your own relationship with the children.
  5. Plan fun activities during your placement time - The time you have with your children should be regarded as a gift, and tjerefore treated that way. Plan some fun activities, but not to the exclusion of school work. It is important to remember, however, that you are still a parent first and your main job is to ensure that your child is being guided and nurtured to grow into a responsible adult.

To say that divorce is difficult on children would be a gross understatement. However, as a parent, you do have the ability to teach valuable life lessons during this tumultuous time. The most important thing to remember is that your responsibility as a parent remains the same regardless of your marital status.

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