The emotional needs of your children will be an ongoing concern as you end your marriage. Although the family courts in North Carolina will need time to complete your divorce, you can promote your children’s well-being throughout the process.

Reassure them about your love

Children commonly feel that they somehow caused their parents to split up. As a parent, you can counteract this tendency by explaining that they are not to blame. Let your kids know that they still have the love of both parents.

Build trust

With so much change on the horizon, your children will want to know where they are going to live and what will happen during the holidays. Try to introduce the topic of the child custody schedule when you can provide clear answers.

Try to cooperate for the holidays

When you create a parenting plan, you will have to decide who has the kids during which holidays. If you and the other parent are willing to set differences aside, then you might arrange to have some holiday celebrations together. This would provide your children with a chance to enjoy the holiday with everyone they love at one location.

Keep rules similar across households

Your custody plan will probably require your children to divide their time between two parental households. To provide your children with consistent expectations, you should try to reach an agreement with the other parent about rules for the kids. Different rules at different homes can be confusing for all parties and trigger disputes.

The best interest of the children is the legal standard that guides family courts when they must decide child custody cases or approve a proposed parenting plan. Your plan should address as many aspects of life as possible in an effort to reduce friction as your family transitions to a new normal. Parents often consult family law attorneys when developing their custody schedule and parenting plan. An attorney might suggest approaches to dispute resolution that have helped other parents overcome similar challenges.