Ideas for those facing custody and parenting issues in divorce

"Divorce is easy, " likely said no Washington parent, ever. In fact, most people who divorce expect challenges along the way as they prepare for new lifestyles with their children. Custody and parenting issues are often central focuses of divorce. Parents can avoid much stress if they think ahead and set the tone for amicable post-divorce relationships.  

Most family advocates agree that one of the worst things parents can do is speak ill of their former spouses in front of their kids. Not only can such behavior confuse children as to where their loyalties should lie, it often causes children to internalize such issues. A child who hears a mother or father badmouthing the other parent may think the one doing badmouthing feels the same about him or her.  

Agreeing to keep children's best interests in mind is, on the other hand, one of the best things divorced parents can do. Moving forward in life following divorce often requires cooperation and compromise, especially when it comes to custody issues, such as where kids will spend their holidays, who will attend school events or what the transportation plan will be when children go from one house to the other. If former spouses are able to work as a team in this regard, their children will likely fare better in the long run.  

While a former spouse might have fallen short in fulfilling his or her obligations in marriage, it doesn't mean he or she is a bad parent. Children rebound easier after divorce if they spend ample amounts of time with both parents, unless of course, there is a reason the court may determine that not in their best interest. If a particular custody and parenting  issue can't be resolved, a concerned Washington parent can reach out for legal support.

Source: parents.com, "9 Rules to Make Joint Child Custody Work", Kate Bayless, Accessed on May 22, 2018

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