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Child custody issues may spark psychological challenges for kids

On Behalf of | Oct 2, 2020 | Family Law |

It is common for Florida families to go through many changes in life. From a parent accepting a new job that necessitates relocation to a married couple deciding to file for divorce, these changes may affect any children involved in a number of ways.  Parents who are preparing for child custody proceedings will want to keep several things in mind that can help reduce potential negative psychological or emotional effects that impede children’s abilities to cope.

Family counselors and child advocates often say that the first year after a divorce poses the most challenges for kids. They can expect to navigate a wide range of emotion, including disbelief, anger, sorrow or confusion. Children who witness their parents co-operating with each other and being willing to compromise to create a child custody agreement that keeps their best interests in mind are the ones who typically fare best when learning to move on in life after divorce.

Younger children often internalize their parents’ divorce, thinking they themselves are to blame in some way. Teenagers, on the other hand, are more likely to place blame on one parent or the other, accusing him or her of disrupting or ruining the family’s lifestyle. Co-parents can help their children process their emotions in a healthy manner by letting them know they are free to share their feelings and also that the divorce was an adult decision based on adult issues, and the children are not at fault.

If a Florida parent refuses to cooperate with a co-parent during child custody proceedings or is going to extremes to try to turn his or her children against the other parent, it can have a negative impact on the kids. It is not uncommon, however, for disagreements or other legal issues to arise in a divorce, even when both parents are doing their best to work together as a team, which is why it is especially helpful to stay connected with an experienced family law attorney, who can help a concerned parent protect his or her rights and also make sure children’s best interests are a central focus of all proceedings.