No matter how you handle it, divorce is a traumatic experience for your children. But if you put your children’s needs above your own and work together with your spouse to focus on what is in the best interest of your children, you can ease their transition in ways that will have a positive influence on them that will follow them for the rest of their lives.
Where to Start
The first thing for you to do is settle the custody issue. From there, other issues can be resolved, like child support.
Focus on the needs of the children and answer their questions. Children want to know:
- Where will we live?
- Will we have to move?
- Will we need to change schools?
- What about extra-curricular activities?
- Will we lose our friends?
- Will we still see our other parent?
You may not be able to answer all these questions, but you can tell them it’s not their fault and that you both will continue to care for them. Consider that you will be co-parenting these children for the rest of their lives. Their needs will change as they grow, but you and their other parent will always need to work together as you both remain involved in their lives.
We tell our clients, “You are parents of these children, not until the end of the divorce, but for the rest of your life. God willing, you will be grandparents together. You should be able to get along. For the sake of your children, work toward a good relationship.” That is what it means to put your children first.
Mediation and Collaborative Divorce are Child Centered
Mediation and Collaborative Divorce are divorce processes that help to put the children first. One of the benefits can be to bring in a child-parent coordinator to help you learn how to communicate with your co-parent in positive ways. You learn co-parenting as an evolving process as you learn to work together in the best interest of your small children and as they grow through middle-school, high-school, college, and become parents themselves.
Parenting is a long journey. Your children will need you even when they are adults. It is important for you to build a relationship with your co-parent that always focuses on the best interests of the children, no matter how old they are.
Contact Family Law Attorneys at Rosenthal & Markowitz, LLP
For answers to your questions about how to have a child-centered divorce, or questions about the divorce process, contact our family law attorneys at Rosenthal & Markowitz, LLP. You can reach us online or by calling 914.347.1292.