It was not long ago that it was seen as an all-or-nothing fight. Today, divorces involving child custody issues are often resolved with shared parenting agreements between the mother and father.
A recent article on the evolution of child custody by a divorce coach said courts across the country are increasingly recognizing that children do best when they have access to both of their parents and that kids are adaptable – they quickly become accustomed to their parents’ new roles during and after the divorce.
Divorce coach and counselor Ann Cerney also made the important point that gender is not the deciding factor in a person’s ability to be a good parent. Rather, it’s the person’s commitment to their kids, as well as their parenting role prior to the split.
She notes that the most important factor in determining how well kids cope with a divorce is parental conflict. If the divorce is filled with hostility, drama and tension, it is likely that kids will struggle more with the divorce – which might well be reflected in their behavior with their family, in school and with their friends.
She offered several tips to divorcing parents to try to keep harmful hostility in the divorce to a minimum:
If you are resentful and try to hurt your ex by excluding them from parenting, don’t give in to the temptation. It will backfire.
If your ex is a high-conflict person, document the difficulties this presents in parenting. In this way, you can help your family law attorney inform the court that shared parenting is not the way to go in your situation.
If you do have a high-conflict ex, try to think of ways to minimize contact (and conflict) during transitions. This will help ease tensions and reduce anxiety for the children.
If you’re a Lake Charles parent facing divorce, speak with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the court system and the many complicated legal issues that arise in divorce.