While parents face many issues during the process of navigating a divorce settlement, the most important one for most is the well-being of their children. Although parents in West Virginia can’t protect their children from the impact of divorce, there are steps they can take to make the process easier.
One parent is often concerned about the other parent’s behavior around the children or the different rules at the other parent’s house. Although it is ideal if the same rules apply to both parents’ houses, children will quickly adapt and learn the rules of each house, even if they are drastically different. However, it is harmful to children to hear one parent say negative things about the other, so parents should refrain from talking badly about each other around the children. Unless a parent is acting in a way that is clearly harmful to the children, the other parent should focus on their own household and behavior and not worry about things beyond their control. The focus of post-divorce interactions between parents should be on the children and navigating new roles, not on winning or controlling the other parent.
Parents should maintain contact and check in on their children frequently. Keeping the lines of communication open will help ensure that children feel comfortable talking about any issues that may arise whether in school, with friends or at the other parent’s house. If children know they can communicate judgment-free, they will be more willing to share what’s on their mind.
Navigating the waters of a divorce involving minor children, with all of the attendant issues such as child custody and support, can be challenging for anyone. A lawyer may be able to help parents reach a settlement that will make the process easier for everyone, including the children.