During custody proceedings, family court judges consider the best interest of the child. This means that they will do what they can to ensure that these children receive placement in the best environment for their physical, mental and emotional well-being.
However, parents should also consider the best interest of the child, especially during a divorce. They need extra care and attention, and they do not need the added stress. These are some ways you can focus on the best interests of your children during your divorce.
Create a parenting plan.
Your first task should include creating a parenting plan. No matter who filed for divorce or why, your children may feel confused about the divorce and will likely feel hurt or guilty if they cannot spend time with both you and your former spouse. Therefore, you need to work together to create a plan that is best for your child. Consider holidays, vacations, schooling, healthcare and any other challenge you may face in the future.
Put your children first.
Your children’s needs far surpass your personal needs, especially during the divorce. They are much more vulnerable to anxiety, and they may develop behavioral issues. Get family counseling to help with the transition, allow adequate time with both parents, and support them. Inform your kids’ teachers and school counselor as well.
You likely have unresolved feelings toward your ex, but you cannot show these to your children. Never speak negatively about your co-parent, and do not use your children as messengers or mediators. Avoid fighting in front of your kids at all costs. If you need to discuss something, do so in private or with a mediator.
Insulate your children from the stress of the divorce as much as possible, and strive for normalcy at home.