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Helping children cope during a child custody dispute

Monday, July 16, 2018

For Texas couples who are divorcing, coming to an agreement on child custody and support can be difficult. Children may face a particularly confusing time during the separation of their parents, who may in turn feel overwhelmed with the child custody process as they struggle to achieve the best outcome for their children.

While parents' conflicting emotions during a child custody dispute are normal, a divorce can still be managed in a positive way that helps children come out of the divorce with a sense of security and the knowledge that they are loved by both parents.

To help children in the El Paso area through the process of divorce, parents may want to take special care to let their children know that the reasons for the marital difficulties have nothing to do with the kids. Reassurance is especially important during this time because children may feel confused or at fault for the divorce. And sometimes getting children to open up emotionally can be difficult. That is why encouraging them to talk about their feelings with no fear of recrimination can help the children come to terms with their changed family situation.

Establishing routines is also an important part of helping children during and after custody proceedings. Living arrangements and visitation rights should be established prior to discussing them with the children. The predictability of a routine to which both households adhere can create a sense of security for both the children and the parents. Although the routine might change once the child gets older, setting a schedule now may help children have a sense of balance during and after the divorce.

Texas parents should also take care not to make a child feel guilty for enjoying time with the other parent. That means striving not to speak negatively about the other parent. Though it may be trying for the divorcing parties, clear communication between parents is one way of achieving an amicable child custody arrangement.

Source: montgomerynews.com, "COPING: Coping with divorce a struggle for children," Dr. Caryn Richfield, March 25, 2012

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