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Keeping children the focus of child custody arrangements

It might seem easier for parents who themselves grew up in a divorced household to understand the emotional issues involved with divorce. Child custody arrangements are crucial to the child's life. Children, no matter what age at the time of the divorce, can have adverse reactions to divorce. There are some things to keep in mind once Colorado couples begin to think about filing for divorce when children are involved.

Most parents want only what is best for their children; and, providing as stable an environment as possible both during and after a divorce is not only possible, but also essential to the well-being of the child. There will be some tough choices on the part of both parents, but the larger picture needs to be the focus. Children need to understand that the divorce was not their fault for starters. Children not only need, but also crave, stability and love, not just food and shelter. Children often believe they are the center of their parents' world, and they believe that what they do can make or break a family.

Some parents may take the opportunity to play on this to try to hurt the other parent during custody negations. According to the United States Census Bureau's 2012 report, an estimated 2.4 million Americans divorced that year. Keeping this in mind, there are many children who may feel disconnected from both parents. While a couple is married, children may believe they have virtually unlimited access to both parents. However, this is usually as a team and the child may never really get to know either parent until they spend some serious one-on-one time with each parent separately.

Colorado parents already know that spending good, quality time can have positive effects that a child will carry with them over their lifetime. Child custody does not need to be a battleground to be won. Instead, it should be looked at as a chance for the parents to set aside their differences and continue to raise their child together. When this is the focus, parents will often negotiate a custody arrangement that best benefits the child.

Source: national.deseretnews.com, "Preventing broken marriages from breaking kids", Lois M. Collins, April 2, 2014

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