Divorces can be very rough on children. When two parents make the decision to separate from one another, the children may experience significant changes in their lives, and that can result in fear, anxiety, and even anger. In order to minimize these negative feelings, the Arizona court system works diligently to ensure that any decisions that are made regarding the divorce are in the “best interest” of the children involved. What does this mean, exactly? Taking a closer look at what constitutes the best interests of a child will help you ensure a smooth transition for your kids and prepare for court.
Putting Children First
As a parent, your job is to protect and provide for your children. This means that you are always going above and beyond the call of duty in order to ensure that your children are happy and healthy. Divorce doesn’t change any of that. Even when you and your child’s parent make the decision to divorce, your goal is to take care of your kids to the best of your ability. Although emotions and tensions may run high during a divorce, it’s imperative that you work to put your children first when trying to negotiate living arrangements, visitation schedules, child support agreements, etc. Partnering with an experienced lawyer from Schill Law Group can make the process of negotiating with your spouse much easier, and will ensure that someone is fighting on behalf of you and your children, even if you and the other parent can’t reach an agreement outside of the courtroom.
Allowing for Ample Parenting Time
Regardless of how you may feel about your child’s other parent, your child deserves the opportunity to have a positive and healthy relationship with their mother or father. You, your lawyer, and your spouse must come up with a schedule that allows for ample parenting time for both parties. You will need to consider which holidays and traditions are important to your child, and how time should be shared amongst yourselves so that the child is able to stay connected with both sides of his or her family. You will also need to consider how close you and the child’s other parent live to one another, and what is practical in terms of shared living arrangements or visitation. If a child lives far away from one parent, the two should have a regular schedule for communicating via telephone or webcam.
Even after divorce, communication is essential for ex-partners who are co-parenting their children. If both parents have shared custody, both have the right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing and welfare. This means that if an incident occurs related to the child’s health, schooling, or behavior, both parents should be informed and involved. Without adequate communication, this cannot happen. It’s very important that the child receives input from both parents in order to live a happy and well-adjusted life.
It’s always imperative that you consider the safety of your child before anything else. If you believe that the child’s other parent may be abusing drugs or alcohol, or may have violent tendencies, it is your responsibility to protect your kids. This doesn’t mean that you can withhold visitation from the other parent on your own, though. You will need to go through the court system and all of the proper channels in order to protect yourself and your children.