In an Arkansas divorce, parents will often hear the phrase “best interests of the children” during the proceedings. The court knows how children can be negatively affected from their parents separating and try to aim for a result that provides the best living conditions for them to recover comfortably.
Even after the court settles on a decision, the now single parents face a difficult challenge. They must provide an environment that can keep their kids from being further negatively affected by what is already disrupting their lives. Here are some ways in which parents can make post-divorce parenting easier on their children and themselves:
Avoid badmouthing the other parent
The critical thing is to focus on the children and maintain their continuity. One of the worst things that any divorcing parent can do is to insult the other parent in front of the kids, thereby dragging the kids into the middle of the conflict.
At the same time, parents should try to maintain normalcy for the children as much as possible. They should not loosen the rules in their home or go overboard in trying to be the “fun parent” and win the favor of the children.
Communication is key
Parents should check in with their children regularly during the divorce to gauge their emotions. The adults should keep communication open with the kids to learn how they are feeling. Most importantly, parents need to take care of themselves so that they can be there for the kids. The children will suffer effects of the divorce, and the aim is to minimize these effects as they will never be able to be completely eliminated. Parents should try to stick with structure as much as possible so that the kids’ lives are not changing as much.
One way to maintain normalcy is to have a degree of separation from the details of the divorce. This is where hiring a divorce attorney may help a client focus on their children as opposed to the day-to-day details of the divorce. The attorney may handle the divorce negotiations and work on drafting the agreement and any possible court filings. This may help free up the parent to be there for their children.