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Understanding the needs of children in divorce

When parents with young children in California decide to get a divorce, it means big changes for them and the children. Kids who are under the age of 5 will need stability and reassurance that they are loved and that their parents will always be there for them. In most cases, any effects from a separation or divorce will subside within two years.

If there are problems that don't go away, parents are urged to talk to their child's doctor, a teacher or a counselor for help. Generally, young children need their parents to respect their needs while still setting limits that will help them mature as they get older. Other caregivers should be vetted and acceptable to both parents to avoid conflict. Furthermore, parents should communicate with each other on a regular basis in a calm and respectful manner.

Parents are also advised to control their emotions while with their sons or daughters. No matter who a child is around, he or she needs an adult who is caring and sensitive. That person should be able to listen to the child as well as provide interesting things for the child to see and think about. This may help them make sense of the divorce as well as what it means for them as they grow up.

Those who believe that they deserve more parenting time or other parental rights to their children may wish to talk with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help a parent get those and other rights, assuming that granting those rights is in the best interest of the child. A parent may be entitled to visitation or custody rights even if the other parent does not like or otherwise have a relationship with that individual.

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