If you and your spouse should no longer be married, part of the divorce process is figuring out child custody so that your child continues to have the life that they deserve. You must always have your child’s best interests in mind and that must be the driving force behind all of the decisions that you make on their behalf.
Your divorce is hard on you, but your child is undoubtedly struggling too. In many cases, it is much more difficult emotionally for your child to process what is happening and how their future will be affected than you and your ex-spouse. However, there are some ways that you can help your child if they are struggling with the divorce:
- Stay as involved as possible in your child’s life: You stay as present for your child as possible. Your child needs you now more than ever. Children tend to blame themselves a lot. You must continue to reassure your child that none of this is their fault in any way.
- Be the best co-parent that you can possibly be: Understandably, divorce is extremely difficult and you and your spouse may not agree about everything concerning your child. However, whatever disagreements you may have, it is very important not to involve your child so that they don’t feel responsible for what is happening. You will both need to try to keep everything as civil as possible.
- Show your support for the time that your child spends with their other parent: Whenever possible, speak positively about your child’s other parent and try to instill feelings of excitement in your child for the time that they will spend with the other parent. The better you make it sound, the better your child will feel.
- Don’t speak negatively about your child’s other parent: If you are bitter and say negative things about your child’s other parent, your child will probably feel that they are in the middle and must take sides, which is not good for anyone. No matter what you really feel, try to remain as neutral as possible when speaking with your child.
- Maintain open communication with your child: It is never a good idea to be less than truthful with your child. They may sense if you are not being honest. That doesn’t mean that you need to share every detail if those details may harm them in some way. You should encourage your child to express how they are feeling about the divorce and the new living situation. It is also important to continue to emphasize that none of this is their fault.
- Try to get your child to understand that everything will turn out okay: As difficult as the situation is, you will want to convince your child that everything will turn out okay in the end. Change is difficult for everyone and your child is bound to be affected by all of the changes that are going on in their life at the moment. However, they must understand that they have two parents whom they can count on always.
- Stick to routines: Whatever positive routines your child had in their life before must remain intact. Children need routines to flourish and to feel safe. Structure and consistency are essential for them to be happy. They also give your child peace of mind and hope that everything will turn out right.
- Make sure that you are okay so that you can be okay for them: In addition to your child being at the top of your priority list, you must also not lose yourself in the process. Your health will bring peace to your child. The truth is that they have enough to worry about right now. They don’t need to worry about you as well.
- Get professional help, if it is needed: Your child may be in a situation where your love and support and that of the other parent are not enough. In that case, seeking counseling for your child and for yourself may make a tremendous difference. The counselor may be able to reassure your child in a way that you are not able to do. Everyone needs to heal from a traumatic situation in their own way and everyone needs help sometimes.
Seeking solid legal advice from a North Carolina family law attorney
The reality is that divorce and all of the issues that you and your ex-spouse need to work out are emotionally trying for everyone. If you can’t seem to agree to the terms of your child-custody agreement, the expertise of a North Carolina family law attorney may make a tremendous difference to your case.
When it comes to child custody, the best interests of your child must be the top priority and your attorney can help you to come up with an agreement that works for everyone and that allows your child to continue to have a life that they deserve and that makes them happy without sacrificing time with either parent. Your child needs both of you and that is of the utmost importance.