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Children's security often first casualty of divorce

Most Virginia parents will readily subscribe to the idea that their children's well-being comes before other considerations. However, this is sometimes tested when their marriage is coming to an end. Research shows that the majority of damage children suffer during a divorce is directly related to the arguments and conflicts of parents. It is thus often up to the parents to protect their children from the insecurity, emotional turmoil and pressure to choose sides that many children feel during the process.

One alternative that family law provides is that divorces can sometimes be resolved through mediation rather than in court. Litigation necessarily pits the divorcing spouses as opponents competing to have the court recognize their differing versions of reality. In contrast, mediation focuses on making the estranged spouses partners in attempting to reach an accord with the help of a neutral third party. The benefits for the children are less fighting and parents willingly agreeing to living arrangements that are designed for the child's best interest. Mediation is usually less expensive and time-consuming than going to court as well.

Reducing or eliminating exposure of children to fighting and specifics of the divorce is important to maintaining their security. Whether parents choose litigation or alternatives to resolve property and custody issues, parents can still agree to not argue and try to reduce the risk of conflict.

Virginia parents can take many steps in helping their children cope with life after a divorce. Finances and ensuring the ability of the custodial parent to provide close to the same lifestyle is important. So too, children need to know divorce is not altering their relationship with each parent.

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