Virginia divorce: Pondering the best interests of the child


Divorces can take their toll on families. One day, children are part of a household with seemingly happily married parents, and the next they find themselves being shuttled between two houses. Because husbands and wives have complex and intimate relationships, with some details that they understandably do not share with their children, these changes can happen rather suddenly in the eyes of the children. Although there is no flawless recipe that allows Virginia parents to create a post-divorce life with the best interests of the child in mind, there are certain things that can be done to assist with what can be a trying transition.

First and foremost, parents must be mindful of the fact that their children are going through a significant change as well. Sometimes, the adults become so obsessed with dealing with their own post-divorce stress that they forget about the children. For this reason, it is essential parents console their children to ensure that they do not feel neglected. It may also be valuable to pay attention to their performance in school and other behavioral signs that might serve as warning signs.

As with so many other aspects of our lives, making life work for the kids requires communication and balance between the separate households. Former spouses may want to be cognizant of any signs of bitterness toward each other when, for instance, trying to divide holiday time. Considering details, such as the court ordered parenting agreement, in advance will allow children to balance their time between houses. When conflicts exist, keeping the lines of communication open may help, and Virginia courts remain available to consider material issues that the parties cannot agree upon between themselves.

Generally speaking, parents need to look to provide children with the quality time at home that they grew accustomed to prior to the divorce. This will create a sense of normalcy for them as they deal with the transition. Of course, many of the aforementioned tips are made with the assumption that both parents are cooperative, but, in some cases, it might be necessary for Virginia spouses to seek third-party mediation or legal assistance in order to come to an agreement on the best interests of the child.

Source:, The post-divorce balancing act, Nicole H. Sodoma, Nov. 6, 2013

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