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Co-parenting plans can reduce divorce trauma for children

Emotions often run high during divorce negotiations in Texas and around the country, but even spouses who find it almost unbearable to be in each other's company for more than a few minutes are often able to put their differences to the side when young children are involved. Much has been written about the traumatic impact that a divorce can have on children, but many of these problems can be avoided if parents are able to accept that their former spouses are doing the best that they can and generally act with the best of intentions.

Family law judges make child custody decisions by considering what's in the child's best interest, and co-parenting solutions are now generally preferred whenever possible. Establishing rules and disciplinary measures that both parents will adhere to and enforce eliminates situations where children are able to play one divorced parent against the other, and seeing parents who really don't like one another cooperating in this way sets an example that can benefit children greatly in adulthood.

Even the best of intentions cannot prevent all domestic disputes, but parents should avoid dragging their children into arguments at all costs. Children who have been used as sounding boards or asked to relay messages to their parents may find relationships difficult later in life, and many experts recommend that divorcing parents draw up a detailed parenting plan to avoid this pitfall. These agreements should be detailed enough to clearly define expectations and responsibilities, but not so restrictive that divorced parents look for loopholes to exploit.

Divorcing parents generally want the best for their children, and experienced family law attorneys may help their clients reach amicable custody and visitation arrangements by reminding them of this fact before discussions begin. When traditional negotiations are unsuccessful, attorneys may suggest the more cooperative atmosphere of divorce mediation to avoid the expense and public scrutiny of civil litigation.

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