Berman & Asbel, LLP

How parents can help prepare children for divorce

Pennsylvania parents whose marriages are coming to an end should talk to their children together about divorce if possible. Children should be reassured that they are safe and secure, and parents should not fight in front of them. In some cases, parents might get along well enough that they can agree to share the home on a rotating basis while the children remain there.

A temporary custody and support order may be necessary. Parents should try to be on time for any custody exchanges. They can communicate by text and only about custody if necessary to keep the situation as neutral as possible.

Timing can be important in helping children with the adjustment. March is the most popular month to file for divorce, and this may be a good time for parents because when children are busy in school, parents can meet with attorneys and do other work associated with divorce. Summer is also a popular time, and its advantage is that parents might be able to spend more time with their children. Parents may want to consider mediation rather than litigation since this may help reduce conflict.

In some cases, a couple might have to go to court to have some or all aspects of a divorce resolved by a judge. A judge will make decisions about custody based on what is perceived as the best interests of the child. For example, if one of the parents has been the child's main caregiver, that parent may be more likely to get custody. However, most courts also believe that it is important for children to spend time with both parents unless there are issues such as abuse or addiction.

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