Considering the best interests of the child after a divorce

Even under the most amicable terms, divorce is still a major life event for New Mexico couples. When children are involved in the process, divorcing parents often focus on the best interests of the children when it comes to the terms of the custody agreement. And while parenting time and other custody matters might look good in writing and fit the best interests of the child in the long-term, divorcing parents might feel like they are not meeting the needs of the child during and following the divorce.

Because dissolution requires several serious and difficult decisions to be made, it is not uncommon for divorcing parents to focus on the terms of the divorce and how it could impact child custody. And while parents mean well, divorcing parents need to also take steps to help children through the divorce process and once it is finalized.

Divorce often means a new home or two new homes. This also means an entirely new routine for the child, which essentially means the child is starting fresh just like their newly single parents. However, the needs of the child are much different than what a child custody agreement dictates as their best interests. Because of that, it is important that parents listen to what their children are telling them. This might now always be vocal, and could be observed though body language and their behavior at school.

A child might still be confused about the changes happening, and he or she might be dealing with various emotions. Parents should take the time to understand these emotions, what is causing them and how they could be addressed. This is also an opportunity to see how the child is adjusting to the new situation and if their needs are being met.

While parents should not be quick to allow sudden changes in feelings alter a custody arrangement, if a child is showing major signs of displeasure of concern, it might be a good idea to consider an option such as therapy. If a custody arrangement no longer meets the needs of a child, it might be time to consider modification. Mediation could help with this process.

Whether a child quickly adapts to a custody arrangement after divorce or not, it is important that parents help them with this process. If a child custody agreement no longer meets the best interests of the child or their needs, divorced parents should consider methods to resolve this matter.

Source: Huffington Post, “How To Keep The Kids Happy After Divorce,” Max DuBowy, March 9, 2016

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