When a family is faced with the difficult task of going through a divorce, it is important to avoid getting swept up in the multitude of minor details that come with it – especially at the expense of the things that really matter, like the kids.
A large part of looking out for the best interest of the child means establishing a less adversarial relationship from the beginning between the divorcing parties. Reality will necessitate Mom and Dad having a relationship as their children grow older, and all of the decisions and events in their lives will bring the parents back to the same page. Prior to the final divorce, being as amiable as possible sets the stage for a productive negotiation, as well, allowing the parties to formulate decisions driven less by passion and more by reason.
Once the divorce is finalized, many parents are uncertain how they should proceed with their lives at the same time as they seek to address possible feelings of abandonment in their children. Each parent should look into strategies to ease the child’s fears, including:
- Letting the kids know that the divorce is not their fault.
- Telling them that neither parent is going to move away from them.
- Affirming that the child will not be abandoned, in any way.
Studies have shown that of all the children who have grown up in divorced families, the ones who will fare the best in life are the ones who have the most contact with both parents. Setting up a comprehensive parenting plan with regular visits provides the child with stability she/he needs to thrive. The agreement should be flexible, but also established, because the child has the right to understand how their relationship with their parents is evolving and when they will be able to see their other parent.
Weekdays, weekends and holidays each have their own scheduling demands and should be accounted for in the agreement. Even with seemingly rigid schedules, most families agree to maintain a level of informality when making modifications to their visitation schedules. This is often written into the agreement in the form of a flexibility clause.
Remember Children are impressionable. For them to see both parents who were once frequently arguing and at odds with one another become friends after the separation is a wonderful lesson – teaching that people can learn to get along together even after difficult adversity.
Winograd and Schwartz is a mediation-friendly family law practice. With experience and training in alternative dispute resolution such as family mediation – as well as traditional divorce proceedings – we are uniquely qualified to help you with your New Jersey divorce.
Contact us today to learn more.by