The phrase that is heard repeatedly during the process of determining child custody and visitation rights is “the best interests of the child.” This consideration is the guideline upon which everything should be determined. Most parents want to do the very best for their child, and if they can keep their children’s wellbeing at the forefront of these issues, everyone will win in the end. Children go through tremendous stress and turmoil when their parent’s relationship ends, and parents need to do everything they can to minimize the emotional toll on the children.
A family is the foundation children base their life on. When that foundation crumbles worry and insecurity can set in. The little ones may wonder who is going to take care of them, and whether they will have food, toys, and a place to live. Older children wonder about losing their schools and their friends. Most wonder about the happiness and wellbeing of both parents. Parents can help their children adjust:
- Encourage them to have a happy, healthy relationship with both parents. If you can’t say something good about the other parent, at least keep your comments neutral. Don’t use them to carry a message to the other parent unless it is a positive one. Remember, even though the other parent is your ex, that person is your child’s mommy or daddy.
- Let them know that even though you have ended your relationship with each other, you are their parents and you can work together to plan for their welfare. They need to be secure in the knowledge that they will not be forgotten.
- Children need love, comfort, and nurturing from both parents. Don’t try to exclude the other parent from your children’s lives out of revenge. Remember, you will be hurting your children much more than the other parent.
- It may help to stop thinking of the other parent as your ex-spouse and learn to think of them as your children’s mother or father. This can make it easier to discuss the children without old emotions clouding the conversation.
A well-planned visitation schedule that is respected by both parents can be extremely beneficial to the children. It is important that the non-custodial parent keep the scheduled visits and for the custodial parent to make sure the children are available during this time. It can help reestablish stability and security in their lives.
The attorneys at David M. Siegel and associates have extensive experience in family law and can help you work out an agreement that is beneficial to both you and your children. Call (847) 520-8100 for help with this challenging issue.