Divorce is usually an emotional process, and when you are a parent, it can become even more complex. For parents in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area, there are special factors to contemplate when divorce is on the horizon.
The child’s past experiences
As parents get prepared to file for divorce, one of their main concerns will be the impact to their children. Even before they take the next step towards the dissolution of marriage, they should think about their children’s past experiences, as these will influence how the children process and deal with the divorce. Some of these experiences include:
• The types of conflicts they have witnessed at home and how intense these have been
• Any recent moves, including to a new home, location or school
• Losses they have experienced recently, such as losing a grandparent or a pet
• Emotional struggles, such as not coping with major changes or transitions
Who your child is
Knowing your child well will also help you plan for the divorce, including how and what type of support they will need. Age might contribute to the child’s ability to accept and adapt to the divorce. Similarly, your child’s level of sensitivity and ability to cope with major changes will be an important factor. Finally, you should also evaluate your child’s attachment to each parent because it will help you figure out what type of parenting agreement might work best for your family.
Meeting your child’s needs
Another important factor that must be evaluated by each parent is their ability to meet their children’s needs, beginning with the basics of shelter, health, food and clothing. This should also include extracurricular and other activities the children might be used to doing.
When parents divorce, they must be ready to focus on their children’s needs as part of the process. Additionally, this will also affect the type of relationship the parents will need to maintain after the divorce is finalized.