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Ways to spare children's feelings during custody discussions

In a divorce, a spouse may need to advocate strongly for his or her position on matters of spousal support, asset valuations and property division. If children are involved, additional discussion will be required about child custody and visitation arrangements.

When proposals are met with resistance, disputes may become heated. Spouses may be unable to resolve disputes without the court’s involvement. In court documents or hearings, each side may present personal details -- such as characterizations of the other spouse’s parenting styles or assertions about a child's needs -- as cold facts warranting an implied outcome. 

Unfortunately, the feelings and needs of children may become forgotten in the context of a divorce lawsuit. In the heat of the moment, parents may argue about child custody arrangements in front of their children, forgetting that a child probably is attached to both parents any doesn’t want to be the cause of any arguments. 

Parents may also bring up other matters when negotiating child custody and visitation arrangements, such as leveraging personal or real estate property items. Although considerations of the family home, geographic relocation and work arrangements do influence parenting considerations, a child does not want to feel that he or she is being leveraged against an item of property.

Fortunately, an attorney that handles family law and divorce matters is accustomed to negotiation techniques and strategies. An attorney has the training and perspective to offer advocacy in a civil manner, hopefully so that children are not put in the middle of disputes between their divorcing parents. An attorney may also be able to suggest options that prevent such escalated arguments in the first place.

Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce Confidential: The Importance of Being Financially Savvy During Divorce,” Caroline Choi, April 21, 2014

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