If you have children and you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce, this is a good time to start planning. Planning is the best thing you can do to help your children process what your divorce will mean for them. Once you’ve decided to get divorced and you have children, everyone should be concerned about helping them get through the process without an unnecessary amount of stress being introduced into their lives. Divorce is already a very difficult process, and many children take it particularly hard. Beginning your divorce with a plan is the best thing you can do to ensure that everyone makes it to the other side of the process emotionally stable and unscathed.
Tips for Building a Lasting Coparenting Relationship
It’s normal to be sad or emotional about the divorce process, but those feelings should subside over time. If you are struggling to get through the divorce process with your coparenting partner, here are a few tips to help you prepare for the divorce process.
- Try Mediation: Alternative dispute resolution is a great way for many divorcing parents to get a divorce while protecting their coparenting relationship. It can be difficult to coparent with an ex-spouse you’ve spent months disparaging and arguing with about the family home or debt allocation. Mediation can help minimize the conflict, focus on the things you agree on, and move towards a divorce settlement that serves both parties.
- Consider Your Goals: The legal system is naturally adversarial because the job of the law and court system is to resolve legal disputes between two or more parties. Usually, each parent has a lawyer whose job is to advocate for their client during negotiations. Once you and your divorcing spouse have reached an agreement, the court will finalize the divorce, and it will become the law for how child custody will be handled for the children in the case. Mediation can help couples headed for divorce decide how custody will be divided between both parties without the adversarial spirit of traditional litigation divorce. Traditional divorce models divide families into sides, declaring winners and losers. But, it’s important to focus on your goals when you’re divorcing as a parent. The goal is to divorce with everyone still emotionally well.
- Find a Family Therapist: A family therapist can help a child verbalize complicated feelings during the divorce process. Children of all ages struggle with divorce, so just because your child may be older, don’t assume they couldn’t benefit from working through their feelings with a professional. A therapist can be a neutral safe space for everyone to discuss their feelings and discover any problems they haven’t verbalized. A family therapist specializing in divorce and custodial issues can serve as a healthy place to discuss issues as they arise.
- Create a Flexible Parenting Plan: A good parenting plan is important to a healthy coparenting relationship. Coparenting can be difficult because newly divorced parents can sometimes struggle to parent from a distance – even a short distance. When you are accustomed to living in the same home with your child and helping them with homework or dropping them off at school, it can be difficult to do these basic parenting tasks from another household. Pennsylvania law will favor the parenting plan and custody agreement that is in the children's best interest.
A Philadelphia child custody and visitation attorney can help you begin planning your custody agreement and taking the right steps to make the process easy. You want to make the choices that are in the best interests of your child. You want to make the process easy and fair for both parents. Establishing a visitation schedule for child custody and visitation in Philadelphia can be difficult, but the attorneys at William Kirby, Family Law can help. We are standing by, ready to advise you about options to address your custody issues. Call us at (215) 515-9901 for help working through the details of your case.