When it comes to cases involving children, there is one simple rule: children must come first.
Regardless of what the parents want or why they are having a custody dispute, the reality is that children have little say over what happens to them or what is happening to the family unit. They deserve to be given special treatment and care so that they can get through the process and live happy, healthy lives moving forward. That should always be the mindset assumed by parents, and it’s certainly the stance taken by courts.
How do you put the children first? Here are a few things you can do:
- Try to insulate your children from any conflict between you and your spouse. Have those adult conversations and disagreements on your own in private.
- Find a parenting plan that gives the children time with both of you. Other than in extreme situations, like abuse, it’s typically best for children to maintain a close relationship with both parents.
- Consider their needs when creating a child custody plan. For instance, think about keeping them in the same schools or near their friends and not simply about what works with your schedule.
- Ask them what they want but be mindful that your children might tell you what they think you want to hear. The older your children are, the more important it is to give them a voice.
- Figure out how you and your ex-spouse can work together, even when doing so is hard. The more you can do to cooperate and focus on your kids, the better things will be for them.
As you move through your divorce with a focus on the children, be sure you know what legal steps to take.