Payne & Associates, PLLC

When thinking about priorities in the divorce process, children come first, just as they did in a marriage. Just because you are ending your marriage does not mean you are absolving responsibility to your kids. Divorce signals a significant shift in the lives of men and women around the country. Are children affected by the divorce process too?

Your children's needs will be the primary consideration of a custody arrangement. If one parent provided more "primary caregiver" duties to the children than the other during a marriage, that parent could be favored in the agreement. Responsibilities of a primary caregiver include meal preparation; help with hygiene and transportation to and from appointments and activities.

No need to "win" your child's love

Divorce can be a bitter process if you are too focused on vindication instead of defining success for yourself. It is important not to let your children be used as a tool to manipulate your spouse. Contrary to popular belief, there may be an amicable solution to child custody for both spouses, but prioritization is critical.

Ultimately, the health and welfare of your kids is the first concern of an arrangement. Thankfully, most children are resilient through a divorce. Kids can be more understanding of a situation than we might expect as parents, but it is important to take the time to talk with them as a couple as you begin the process.

This step is especially necessary if you divorce after a "low-stress marriage," which means that your kids were generally not exposed to marital conflict. Most marriages are low stress for kids and taking the proper steps through the divorce can minimize the risk of any psychological or emotional harm. Although kids can be understanding, a divorce may come as a surprise to them initially.

Work toward an optimal solution for everyone

Divorce is emotional for everyone involved. The process takes time, and these sentiments should be embraced. Often it is best to maintain a sense of normalcy in "low stress" situations to give everyone time to adjust to new circumstances. Divorce can have adverse effects on children, but it doesn't have to.

Although you may be falling out of love with your spouse, the love for your children remains. Focus on their needs as children and your priorities as a parent to move beyond marital issues and into a potentially more independent life after divorce. Your children will thank you for it.

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Payne & Associates, PLLC
206 North Spruce Street, Suite 1B
Winston Salem, NC 27101

Phone: 336-283-2937
Fax: 336-217-8784
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