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Parenting the children during and after a divorce

It is estimated that about 41 percent of all first marriages do not last. Further, nearly a third of all divorces are between parents of young children. For these couples, sharing children means that the two parents may have to deal with each other at least until the children come of age.

Experts say that children benefit the most when both of their parents are actively involved in raising them, unless there is evidence of abuse or neglect. As such, parents should do their best to put the children first when it comes to divorce, though it is noted that this can be difficult. For example, keeping the children's home life as stable as possible during the divorce and custody dispute can help them get through it. This may include continuing to live in the same home and going to the same school as before.

How the parents talk about each other around the children also has a huge impact. Parents should avoid bad-mouthing each other and avoid using the children as messengers, as this can breed distrust. Further, parents should acknowledge how their children are feeling throughout the process. If possible, the children should also have the ability to make choices and offer suggestions.

Judges will make custody decisions based upon what they believe to be in the best interests of the child. In many cases, parents are able to come up with a custody and visitation arrangement with the assistance of their respective attorneys that can be submitted to the court for its approval.

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