Most North Carolina parents can relate to ups and downs in their family life. For some, the downs mostly take place within the marital relationship, which may lead to one or the other spouse filing for divorce. Especially concerning children, this type of decision can be stressful for the family, but there are several things parents can do to try to minimize it.

Parents love their children and want what is best for them. Divorce may be a lot less stressful if parents can agree from the outset to work together as a team in keeping children’s best interests in mind. What happened in a marriage must be kept separate from parents’ willingness to cooperate and compromise as needed for the sake of their kids.

It is often a good idea to seek children’s opinions when laying the groundwork for a new family lifestyle after divorce. Particularly if there are older kids, parents should avoid assuming they want to split their time equally between two homes. For some kids, this type of arrangement makes them feel not like they have two homes but that they have no home at all. Every child’s emotional condition is unique as he or she navigates divorce, and while custody or visitation decisions belong to adults, it is okay for parents to discuss such issues with older children to gain perspective on which options best fit their circumstances.

Civility is an important word for parents who want to keep divorce-related stress to a minimum. If kids constantly hear parents speaking negatively about each other or arguing all the time, stress levels begin to soar; in fact, many children internalize such issues and wind up thinking they are to blame for their parents’ divorce. Agreeing to treat each other respectfully to avoid negative comments is a step in the right direction for parents striving to develop a peaceful co-parenting relationship. If a legal obstacle happens to arise, a concerned North Carolina parent can reach out for additional support at any time.