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How to make divorce and child custody easier on children

California parents who divorce are well aware of the negative effects that the division of a family can have on shared children. In fact, concerns over how kids will take the news of a divorce and child custody changes is a primary factor that leads many couples to postpone filing until they feel that the timing is just right. Once the announcement has been made, parents have a great deal of influence over how their children will handle this time of transition.

One way that parents can ease the divorce process for their kids is to take a collaborative approach to the end of their marriage. Collaboration or mediation can lead to a far less contentious divorce, and is also likely to resolve matters of child custody and property division more rapidly than traditional litigation. In addition, the process of collaboration provides an excellent example of how to resolve disputes in a cooperative and productive manner.

Another tip for parents who want to protect their kids from the negative aspects of divorce is to make an effort to reinforce their understanding that the decision to end the marriage was an adult matter. While parents assume that kids know that divorce is not their fault, the way that children perceive the world is far different from the adult point of view. Kids grow up in a very self-centered environment, and often believe that the events that surround them are tied to their own choices and behaviors. Assure your kids often that ending a marriage is a decision made solely between the adults, and is not connected to them in any way.

By taking a proactive approach to the matter, California parents can help their kids move through the transitions that come with divorce and custody arrangements. This time of change is temporary, however, and it can be helpful to remind everyone involved that the difficulties that arise as the family adjusts to the new child custody structure will not be a permanent part of their lives. There are many happy days ahead, for both parents and children.

Source: Huffington Post, 5 Ways to Protect Children During Divorce, Deborah Anderson Bialis, Nov. 25, 2013

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