Divorce is often overwhelming for kids. The more information you can provide, the better. While it’s natural to keep some things from them — the reasons for your divorce may not really be fit for the kids — it’s important to focus on their concerns and answer their questions.
Many times, you can actually design your child custody plan to address these concerns. Work with the kids to find a plan that fits the whole family.
For example, kids are sometimes worried about their social lives. Perhaps you have custody, but your child spends every other weekend with your ex. This works well for you and your ex, but what if your child wants to have a sleepover at a friend’s house on Friday night? Is your ex going to deny it, feeling like he or she is then basically losing the weekend and half of the time with the child for the entire month? While that’s understandable in some ways, you have to keep the child’s needs and happiness in mind.
Kids will also ask about parental involvement. Will they see both you and your ex at Christmas? Who gets to host a birthday party? How will you handle vacations in the carefree summer months? These are special times for children, creating memories that last a lifetime, and they want to know how you’re both going to be involved.
These are just a few examples, but you can see why it’s important to think like your kids when creating a child custody plan. Keep your own legal rights in mind, but never forget the child’s best interests.
Source: Good Men Project, “10 Most Common Questions Kids Have About Divorce,” Benna Strober, Pys. D., accessed Oct. 13, 2017