A divorce is often an emotional experience for everyone involved, and this is especially true if there are children involved. Children are still trying to figure out their place in the world and where they fit in, so a major event such as a divorce can make them question where they belong or feel as if they are on shaky ground.
As a parent going through a divorce in New Mexico, you can counter this by keeping as much stability in your children’s lives as possible. Ideally, your co-parent will also be on the same page with you when it comes to this, and you can both try the steps below.
Establish a Routine
Honoring the routines your child currently has is very important, although it may not be possible in every situation. You may also want to create some new patterns and routines that you can use over and over again after you introduce them. These do not have to be elaborate routines by any means. They can be as simple as something familiar that you and your child do when your child goes to bed or school. Setting routines will help comfort your child since these patterns allow them to feel as if they have some control and trust in their day and surroundings.
If possible, it is best for your child to have the same routines at your home and your co-parent’s home. Talk to your co-parent about your routines and how you can make them as similar as possible.
Keep Communication Open
Let your child know what is happening, why it is happening, and when it is happening in terms that are appropriate for their age. The more your child knows about their schedule and how it will impact their daily life, the less stressed they will feel. This is especially important when your child is adjusting to being in two homes in a child custody situation.
Try to Make the Homes Similar
Moving from one home to two homes is a big adjustment for anyone, and this is very true for a child. To help your child ease into this routine, try to have some similarities between the two homes if possible. This may mean getting duplicates of items such as favorite toys, books and clothing. This can help your child feel safe and content no matter which home they are in.
Have the Same Rules at Each Home
Having one set of rules at one house and another at a second house can make things shaky and confusing for your child and will additionally welcome in potential conflicts with the child’s other parent.
Talk honestly with your co-parent so you are both on the same page when it comes to rules and discipline. This can be difficult, especially if you and your co-parent are having trouble communicating. Work with your spouse as best as you can and keep an open mind about their views of what the rules should be. The focus should always be the best interest of your child or children.
If you find you are having issues with your co-parent when it comes to providing stability for your child and might need to modify an existing court order, be sure to reach out to an attorney experienced in child custody in Santa Fe. Keep in mind that even if your co-parent is not behaving in your child’s best interest, that is not an excuse for you to ignore the terms of any current court order in your case. Therefore a modification will be needed or some action will need to be taken if you and your child’s other parent cannot resolve the issues.