If you and your spouse have separated and have children, custody matters may be on your mind. You probably have a temporary arrangement in place now, but you will want to make sure that your final custody order is as perfect as possible for your children.
Giving your children what they need to thrive and feel at home following your divorce is your goal. How can you make sure they get what they need? Here are some ideas.
Helping your children adjust to divorce
Part of helping your children adjust to divorce is getting them back on an understandable and reasonable schedule. Depending on your child’s age, this may mean regular back-and-forth visits between homes or settling into a schedule that gives them a home base during the school week and another home on weekends. There are dozens of possibilities for custody schedules, so it’s worth taking time to sit down and think about what would really be best for your child.
You may want to sit down with your ex-spouse and discuss your custody schedule along with a parenting plan that details what your child will do for school, extracurricular activities or other circumstances. You should be on the same page with things like discipline or bringing new partners into the home. That way, you can minimize conflict and make sure that your child is treated fairly in both homes.
Since children may not yet have the emotional tools to handle a divorce in the way you and your ex-spouse can as adults, it’s helpful to sit down and talk to them about the divorce and how they feel. Some children may be angry, but others may be sad or feel guilty. If you find that your child isn’t adapting after some time, consider involving a family or children’s therapist to help them work through their emotions and give you more ideas on how to address issues caused by the divorce.
Your children can thrive after a divorce with the right positive attention, a parenting plan that is in their best interests and a custody schedule that works for their age and needs. Adjustments will take time to adapt to, but your children can get through these changes with the right support.