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How to help children cope with divorce

Divorcing parents in Maryland and around the country often enter into property division and spousal support discussions with very firm objectives. However, they are generally able to put whatever animosity they feel aside when the welfare of their children is at stake. There are steps that parents can take to give their children a better chance of emerging from the divorce experience emotionally unscathed.

Upheaval can be expected during a separation, but this upheaval does not have to affect every aspect of family life. Experts advise divorcing parents to maintain their traditional roles and avoid letting rules slip in order to mollify their children. Furthermore, it's a bad idea to avoid discipline to court favor from children.

Experts say that one of the most important things that parents can do during a divorce is to let their children know that they are not to blame. Parents should also be on the lookout for changing behavior patterns, especially when unruly children suddenly become more obedient and considerate. According to experts, this could be a sign that children blame themselves for their parents' divorce and believe that things will return to normal if they behave themselves.

Experienced family law attorneys may seek to discuss child custody and visitation arrangements early during divorce negotiations. When these talks go well, spouses may be more willing to compromise when thornier issues are raised. However, when custody and visitation negotiations break down, it could be a sign that a bitter legal battle is unavoidable. In these situations, attorneys may suggest alternatives to court such as mediation or collaborative divorce.

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