Prioritizing children in a divorce

Prioritizing children in a divorce

On behalf of Aaron & Aaron, Attorneys at Law posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

South Carolina parents who are divorcing need to make sure that they put their children first. This may also mean giving each other the benefit of the doubt even when one believes that the other parent does not deserve it. For example, rather than assuming that an ex-spouse is irresponsible by not adhering to a time schedule, a parent should assume there is a good reason for the tardiness. Parents also need to keep their own emotions in check around the children and avoid venting or saying negative things about each other in front of the child.

Effective co-parenting is important because in most cases, children still need to have a relationship with both parents. A written parenting plan can help reduce conflict. Items to consider for the plan include grandparent visitation, schooling, health care, how much contact children will have with new partners and setting aside a time to discuss any additional problems that might arise. Over time, the agreement might need to be altered.

The first few months after the divorce can be a critical time for children, so parents should particularly focus at this time on creating a stable environment. Parents who need to talk to someone during this time to cope with their own emotions should turn to friends or a counselor if necessary.

Parents might be able to lay the groundwork for a functional co-parenting relationship during the divorce. For example, if they are able to negotiate an agreement about child custody with the help of their respective attorneys, this could result in an outcome they are happier with than if a judge had made the decision. Furthermore, this kind of negotiation promotes compromise while litigation is an adversarial process in which there is a winner and a loser.