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How to help children deal with divorce

Though divorce is often a time of emotional intensity and high conflict, most parents in North Carolina want to put their children first and mitigate the effects of divorce on them. Parents can help ensure their children's emotional and physical well-being by keeping in mind what is most important to children during and after a divorce.

Children need to know that they can continue to have strong, loving relationships with both of their parents. They should be reassured that they can share the details of their lives with one parent without hurting the feelings of the other parent. Parents should let their children share whatever they want without criticizing the other parent or the child.

During childhood, holidays have special importance. Children want to know where they are going to be spending holidays and special occasions. Such information, including when transitions will take place, should be noted in a parenting time calendar and available to everyone. Parents should make an effort to jointly attend important events such as parent-teacher conferences, school plays, baseball games and birthday parties. Eventually, children grow up, and there will be marriages, births and birthday parties for the grandparents to attend, so it is best to set a civilized precedent now.

Children also benefit from consistency. Rules that change from parent to parent can confuse children about what is acceptable and what isn't. While it may be difficult, especially in the midst of a contentious divorce, it is best for children if both parents agree on acceptable standards of behavior and similar rules are enforced in both households. Couples who are divorcing may benefit from the help of a lawyer experienced in family law issues such as child support, child custody and stepparent adoption. The Winston Salem Child Custody Blog may provide more helpful information about these issues.

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