When parents in California make the decision to divorce, they may be concerned about how the changes to their relationship will affect their children. Absent a context of neglect or abuse, divorce does not have to interfere with either parent’s relationship with the kids. By keeping some key priorities in mind, parents can help their children to navigate the changing home environment that comes with divorce successfully. While different concerns may arise for children of different ages, both parents have a role to play in supporting their children’s emotional health throughout the process.
Both parents may want to avoid sharing any negative information or thoughts about the other parent with their children. Kids need to feel free to love and enjoy a close relationship with each parent without upsetting or angering the other. It is normal for kids at many ages to go to one parent over the other, but kids should not be afraid to share their affection for either parent at any time. It is also important for kids, especially younger children, to understand that they are not the reason for the divorce, and there is nothing that they can do to change their parents’ decisions. This, of course, can also combine with love and reassurance of both parents’ affection.
In addition, even people who go through an amicable divorce may be concerned about how to handle holidays and other family events. It can be challenging to adjust to a child custody schedule, and some divorced parents may want to continue to do some events as a group even after the separation.
Divorce does not have to be traumatic for children, especially when parents think carefully about how to protect their kids’ emotional well-being. A family law attorney may help divorcing parents to negotiate a fair settlement on child custody and other matters.