When parents think about child custody, what comes to mind first is dividing the time each parent will spend with their child. This goal often takes over and can become the most important consideration for parents when considering child custody.
However, your child has other relationships that have developed over time with others—for example, grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins and even close neighborhood friends. We often forget about these relationships because we are concerned with settling child custody issues quickly.
It is essential to think about the child when considering child custody. They should be the utmost priority in a divorce. They did not choose the divorce, and they are not at fault. They are in the middle.
Imagine that your best friend disappears overnight or that the grandparents you saw on a weekly basis went away without warning. If we think about it this way, it can allow us to put ourselves in our children’s shoes and understand how traumatic it could be to separate them from the people they have been around and have developed relationships with since they were small.
Children need allies
In addition, it is essential to know that these relationships, and keeping them alive for your child, can help them cope with the stress of divorce. Children might have strong feelings toward their parents, who they see as the ones causing the distress in their lives and having other bonds may serve them well and provide them with the emotional support they need to get through this tough time.
Divorce is complicated and challenging for everyone involved, and it is natural for parents to get caught up in the legal aspect of divorce and place most of their focus on making decisions for the future. Still, it is critically important to think of your child now and how they feel.
Most importantly, it is imperative to consider how to provide your children with the emotional support they need during this time and in the future, which often means considering their relationships with others and how to maintain them after the divorce is final.