When New Jersey parents decide to divorce, they may be concerned about how to best help their children navigate this transition. Divorce can stir up a lot of complicated emotions for children. Some may fear that their parents will abandon them or stop loving them. Others may struggle with the practical changes, like moving from one parent’s home to the other on a regular basis. Divorce will almost certainly cause a significant amount of change and disruption in a child’s life. However, parents can take action to help make the divorce process less traumatic and healthier for their children.

Kids may feel as if they are forced to choose sides between their parents in a divorce. They may worry that they should not mention positive things about their relationship with one parent to the other parent. This can lead to a significant amount of emotional pain and confusion. Parents can help to avoid this situation of divided loyalties by working to build a more collaborative co-parenting agreement. Children should be encouraged to have a positive relationship with the other parent, and parents should not complain or vent about their former partners to the kids.

In addition, it can be important to keep children’s autonomy in mind, especially when planning schedule changes. When kids are allowed to have choice and input, they may feel more secure when going from one home to another. The more that kids feel like their voices are heard and taken seriously throughout the divorce process, the more they can navigate the situation in a healthy, positive manner.

Parents often want to do everything they can to protect their children even as their own romantic relationship ends. A family law attorney may help a divorcing parent to negotiate key issues, including child support, child custody and visitation.