When parents decide to separate, it has a strong impact on their children. However, children can still grow and thrive with proper support.

Along with parents’ needs, it is essential to consider and address the needs of the children during and after a divorce. Parents can take a few key steps to provide the support children need.

Communicate

Unless there is a history of domestic violence in the family, the courts usually encourage divorcing spouses to work things out amongst themselves. This can be especially beneficial in regards to the children. If parents can communicate and come to an agreement about the needs of the child without the court, it allows them to maintain full control and determine the path of their new family dynamic. This can also be helpful for working through any unexpected issues, such as special events.

Plan

Developing a parenting plan is very beneficial and required by law. The plan should cover all aspects of the child’s care, including regular and holiday custody arrangements, health care, decision making, drop-offs, even religious affiliation. You can develop your own plan, as long as it abides by the law, and the judge must review and validate it. If your child is older, consider allowing him or her to include personal input in the plan. After all, the whole family will have to abide by it once it is in place.

Keep your focus

In everything you do, try to work in the best interest of the child. Take time to discuss the new family dynamic with your child, at whatever level he or she is at. Even young children will have questions, and it is in their best interest for you to address them. Try to avoid villainizing the other parent, and keep any disagreements between the adults when possible.

Along with these things, your presence is essential for a child. Make sure you create quality time with your child. You must also stay open to grow and adjust as your child matures.