Focusing on children during a divorce
Florida parents who are getting a divorce can help reassure their children throughout the process. This begins with choosing the best time to file based on the children’s schedule. For example, parents might choose March because the long stretch of school days leaves time for uninterrupted visits to attorneys, or they might prefer the time when children are on summer vacation.
However, if parents cannot live together without fighting, timing might be a secondary consideration. Discord between parents can be more upsetting for children than the divorce itself. Parents may need to get a temporary custody and support order. However, if their relationship is less contentious, they might be able to alternate their time in the home while the children remain there. They should only speak positively of the other parent in front of children and keep exchanges with the other parent neutral if necessary.
Parents should try to be together when they tell children about the divorce. They should be prepared to answer children’s questions in a way that provides reassurance. Counseling may help both parents and children. A collaborative divorce might be a good choice for parents who want to keep the situation as low-conflict as possible, and resolution skills learned through mediation may help them with co-parenting.
There may be a number of issues parents must negotiate in addition to custody and support. These might include deciding who will pay for certain extracurricular activities, how much time children will spend with other relatives and when they will be allowed to meet new partners. In the parenting plan, parents might even want to address issues such as homework and bedtimes. In order to remain child-centered, they should make their decisions based on the best interests of the child and not their own preferences.