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The divorce is over - now what about the kids?

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For many Maryland residents who go through a divorce, just getting to the end of the legal proceedings can bring a lot of relief. But, for couples with children who then have to coup with a post-divorce child custody arrangement, the end of the divorce brings about a whole new dynamic for their family life. Finding a way to deal with this new situation can be difficult, and the realization that it may last for years can be especially daunting. Recognizing the challenges a post-divorce parent can face, a recent article provided a few suggestions on how to accept and make the best of the new arrangement.

Not surprisingly, most of the suggestions in the article end up with the focus on the kids and not the parents. After all, the parents may understand and even accept their new post-divorce situation, and some will do so gladly, but the children may never understand why their parents couldn't find a way to stay together. That is why communication is key, and the article suggests that checking in on the kids in other environments, most notably school, can be valuable in assessing how they are coping with the change.

Perhaps most importantly, however, is making the most of the time a parent is actually with the child. During those times, it can be especially important to make sure that the parent is connecting with the child and making the child understand that even though the parents are no longer together that both parents still love the child and value their relationship with the child. Parents will need to remember that the new family dynamic is not just a strain on them, but also - and perhaps more so - on the children.

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

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