Divorce can be hard on children as well as their parents, but Texas parents can also conduct themselves in a way that eases the difficulty for their children. This mostly involves setting aside their own needs and emotions to focus on the child’s well-being. Although they may no longer be able to get along as a couple, they can still try to co-parent effectively.
Children need to be able to continue loving both of their parents, and they need to be reassured that nothing they did caused the divorce. They also need to be able to talk to each parent about the other parent without worrying about what kind of a reaction they will get. Parents should listen neutrally and should try to make space for the child as they would if the child were talking about any other family member or friend.
Holidays can be especially difficult for children. The best case scenario is for parents to spend them together, which takes the burden of having to go to two different celebrations. Eventually, parents will need to be in the same place for milestones like graduation and weddings. Parents should try to have similar rules between households even if they agree on little else. This can increase a child’s sense of stability.
People can lay the groundwork for a functional co-parenting relationship when they are going through the process of determining child custody in a divorce. This does not always mean having to go to litigation, which is an adversarial process. Parents may be able to negotiate an agreement with the assistance of their respective attorneys. In court, a judge makes a decision about child custody based on the best interests of the child, and parents should focus on this standard in negotiations as well.