When North Carolina parents go through a divorce, their young children are affected as well. This is particularly true if there is a custody battle. Although sometimes going to court to determine child custody cannot be avoided, parents should try to keep their child’s well-being in mind during this process.
Choosing between parents
Custody disputes can be upsetting for children who feel that they are being forced to choose between their parents. They may think this even if parents make a point to avoid being negative about one another in front of the child. For example, some children might feel distressed if they are offered input into decisions about custody. This does not mean that older children should not have a voice in these decisions if they want one, but the choice should be presented to them sensitively and with reassurance that they are not choosing one parent over the other.
The need for stability
Children can also feel as though they have less stability and may suffer in general from difficult emotions or a negative outlook. Parents should listen to their children talking about their feelings and answer their questions honestly but in an age-appropriate way. Parents should not take this as an opportunity to complain about one another. They should strive to disrupt the child’s life as little as possible even if this means one of them spending less time with the child than they would prefer.
Parents might be able to make a child custody agreement without going to court. There are a number of creative plans they could pursue that might best suit their child’s situation. Divorce is hard on everyone, but child custody disputes do not have to leave a permanent mark on children. Parents should strive to make every decision with the child’s best interest in mind.