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Putting kids first when parents divorce

Although divorce is fairly common today, when a North Carolina child's parents split up, it can still be a very difficult experience. Studies have shown that divorces can have lasting emotional effects on children, but there are ways that parents can help make the process easier for kids. Some of these include opting for a method that is less contentious and being sure to keep disagreements away from children.

Litigated divorces are ones that take place in a courtroom, and issues related to the divorce are decided by a judge. They tend to be public affairs, and children may even be required to testify to help determine issues related to custody. However, mediated divorces involve a couple hashing out issues together and coming to mutually agreeable decisions. This can be done privately, and kids may not have to be involved at all.

It's also important to not fight in front of kids. Even if no one is yelling, disagreements are often tense affairs, and they can make children feel uncomfortable and scared. Arguments should take place behind closed doors and out of hearing of kids.

During a divorce, physical and legal custody will be determined. If the divorce is litigated, it will be decided by a judge. When a divorce is mediated, a couple will come to an agreement about who should have custody. However, custody is decided, it is something that can be reviewed if there is a significant change in the circumstances of the custodial parent. The inability or refusal to properly care for a child might be grounds to request a change of custody, and a lawyer could assist with this process.

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