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Putting children first in divorce cases

North Carolina parents who are divorcing should put their children's needs ahead of their own. While it is important for people to take care of themselves, handling their children's needs is more important. When parents put their children ahead of themselves, their children are likelier to be better adjusted and to handle the divorce more easily.

When parents are able to put their interpersonal conflicts aside and co-parent their children, the children do better overall. Parents can work towards establishing a good relationship by avoiding talking badly about each other to their children or in front of them, sending them as messengers or venting to them.

Parents should try to work together to draft a written plan that will work well for both them and their children. It should be detailed and address various scenarios that could occur. It should lay out who will have the children and when. Extended family members should be told that they are not allowed to talk negatively about the children's parents to them. The discipline and rules that existed before the divorce should continue in both homes following it for consistency. The parents should also plan times that they can meet to discuss important topics about their children. The plan should include major decision-making responsibilities for medical, educational and religious concerns.

Parents who are able to reach child custody agreements and to work together to co-parent their children are likelier to have children who are happier. Even after a divorce is final, parents will need to be able to continue working together for years. Family law attorneys will advise their clients to look past the emotions that may be involved in the divorce so that they can concentrate on their children's best interests.

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