Awareness of a Child’s Needs
During a Divorce
- A child needs to be reassured of the love of both parents;
- A child needs release from guilt and responsibility over parents' separation;
- A child's feelings and experiences need to be accepted as being different than parents';
- A child needs protection from conflict between parents.
Some Important Considerations
- Children need to be emotionally and physically safe from parental conflict;
- All children need consistency and stability from both parents;
- Children need relationships with both parents;
- Children fare better if they know they will be spending time with each parent;
- Children of all ages who witness family violence of any kind are emotionally traumatized;
- Parents and children experience a great sense of loss when they live apart;
- Parents and children usually need emotional support and guidance through the process of divorce, separation
or establishing separate households;
- Parents need to move from an intimate to a more formal, business-like relationship;
- A child-sharing plan must take into consideration the age and emotional stage of development of each child;
- Parents who cooperate in developing a parenting plan are less likely to need future court involvement and
are generally happier with the outcome.
California law requires parents who are unable to agree on a child-sharing plan to attend child custody recommending counseling before a
court hearing to try to reach agreement.