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How you approach your divorce can have an impact on the long-term environment of your family dynamics. While it is often difficult to put emotional investment aside, it may greatly benefit you to be intentional and compassionate at every step of change – especially if you have children. Your plans for child custody, and how you adhere to them on a personal level, may affect your child’s perspective as well as your own.

Some resources suggest considering this new chapter an opportunity to start fresh with your ex-spouse. Consider approaching your relationship with them as a new one, one in which you work together for the best interests of your child. Such an approach may help children feel more secure in their transition; they will have a positive example to follow, and they may even be healthier on an emotional and mental level.

As you approach the custody arrangements consider also writing down the issues you want to discuss beforehand. Depending on your divorce method, you may have an opportunity to communicate with your spouse about concerns you may have. Processing these issues ahead of time may help you better get your points across and therefore potentially avoid misunderstanding.

Be proactive in your relationships and in your self-care

The American Psychological Association suggests that children do best when parents work together and that they develop better long-term coping skills when parents maintain close contact with them. So, consider making a point to have a flexible schedule and work through conflict that might hinder your child from regular times with you or your ex.

Finally, consider taking time for yourself. Reaching out to a family therapist or an otherwise qualified psychologist may help you release some unnecessary stress related to this big change. For more help regarding your divorce, or for legal advice, contact an experienced family law attorney.