Going through a divorce or separation is always difficult, especially when minor children are involved. Children may feel like the divorce is their fault, or they may feel a sense of confusion and abandonment. Parents in New York should heed the advice of professionals to make the separation process easier on children.

Do not speak ill of your ex to your child

There is a way for parents to tell their children that they are splitting up without pointing fingers or discussing intimate details. While children should be encouraged to discuss fears and challenges they face during and after the transition, there is no reason the kids need to know the dirty details behind the divorce. Being negative can make a child feel conflicted, and the child may internalize the insults and feel rejected or inadequate.

Develop a flexible child custody schedule

A good way to ease children into shared custody, particularly if they are younger, is to switch off every few nights so that a child never goes too long without seeing one parent. As children reach adolescence, it is good to involve them in custody decisions and to take their preferences into account. Custody schedules should consider possible out-of-town work trips and emergencies, so parents know what to do when something comes up that disrupts the regular plan.

Do not let spite for your ex affect your child

When some parents get divorced, they make power grabs for things they do not actually want just to punish the other parent. This behavior can be disastrous for a child if a parent has ulterior motives for seeking full custody since that parent is most likely not in a good place to be caring for the child full-time. When discussing a shared custody schedule, parents should also discuss the extent to which they can put their differences aside for the child’s benefit, such as agreeing to spend their child’s birthdays together. A family law attorney may help clients develop a child custody schedule that takes both the child’s and the parents’ needs into account.