Child Support and You: 3 Things Every Parent Needs to Know

Article provided by Jeffery M. Leving.

Separating from a partner is a difficult decision. For parents, the choice can be even more challenging. No matter what the reasons for your divorce might be, it's important to consider how the separation will affect your children. Although your children will be impacted by the divorce, there are several things you can do to minimize any stress or anxiety your kids might feel. Before you and your spouse head to your attorney's office, there are three things you need to know.

1. Telling the kids together is key

First off, make sure you talk to your children about the separation early on. Don't wait until the situation is almost completely finalized to clue them in. Kids are intuitive and they'll suspect something is awry long before you tell them. Being up front and honest with your kids lets them know they can trust you and your partner during this time. You also don't want a well-meaning relative or family friend to accidentally break the news to your child. Ideally, you and your partner should sit down and discuss the separation with your children. This ensures your kids will have the situation explained to them in a safe and controlled environment they're comfortable in.

2. Focusing on unity is important

It's important to focus on family unity as much as possible. While your situation will change drastically after the separation, you and your partner can still emphasize togetherness when it comes to your kids. Avoid trash talking your partner in front of your children, and don't share the intimate details of the divorce with your children. For example, if one party was unfaithful, this isn't something your kids need to know. Remember that the other person is also their parent. Your kids deserve to have a positive impression of that parent. Focus on how you're going to move forward together as a family, rather than on how different your lives will be post-divorce.

3. Your attorney is a valuable asset

Make sure you share any concerns you have about the divorce or custody issues with your attorney. There are different types of custody, such as physical and legal custody. Typically, parents want to share full physical and legal custody of the child. If you or your partner want to have a different arrangement, however, your lawyer can help make this happen. Don't be afraid to express your desires and wishes in detail with your attorney throughout the divorce process. They'll be able to advise you on what you can expect moving forward.

No matter how many children you have or what the circumstances of your separation might be, make sure you reach out to your attorney for legal guidance during this time. They'll be able to help you every step of the way.