There are several ways to help protect children in divorce cases from being negatively affected. A divorce will certainly affect a child in concrete ways, such as the child needing to adjust to one parent no longer living in the family home. However, much of the trauma, disruption and even guilt that children often feel during and after a Houston divorce are avoidable, or can at least be minimized, if both parents take concrete steps to truly put the children’s emotional best interest first. Unfortunately, even though most Texas parents truly want to protect children in divorce, the emotionality of the divorce for a parent often spills over into that parent’s relationship with the children in negative ways. However, there are concrete ways to lessen the impact of divorce on children to help them transition more smoothly.
Avoiding unnecessary hostility toward the other spouse in Houston divorce litigation can be helpful to reduce the stress and trauma often involved in a divorce. Once the divorce petition is filed, the property division process becomes somewhat like the wind-up of a business – there are assets to be divided and liabilities to be allocated between the parties. Regarding child custody, there is a parenting plan to decide on, a visitation schedule to put into place and child support to be implemented. These things can be done with an acrimonious, vicious, take-no-prisoners attitude or they can be accomplished in a reasonable, methodical way. It should be clear which way tends to protect children in divorce, is better for the well-being of child and helps the child transition to a new normal more quickly and smoothly.
Mediation in a Houston Divorce
Mediation early in a case can help accomplish such a positive result. Mediation is a formal settlement conference where a neutral third party helps the parties to achieve a settlement of the issues in a case, including property, conservatorship (custody) and child support. Mediation can be helpful in resolving cases quickly and less expensively than through a more complicated litigation process in a Houston divorce. For mediation to be successful, all appropriate information should be disclosed beforehand – such as the scope of marital property and marital debt for property division. Income taxes and compensation information should also be exchanged by the parties to determine child support or alimony.
By the time a Houston divorce case reaches mediation or court, the parties should realize and accept that if one spouse wants a divorce, it is going to occur and their focus should be on steps they can take to protect children in divorce. At this stage, parents are well-served if they recognize this fact, try to set their own feelings aside about their spouse when discussing divorce with the child, realize that both parents will keep co-parenting their children for many years to come, and focus their attention on getting through the divorce process with minimal negative impact on the children.
To discuss mediation, custody issues or any matters related to your Houston divorce, call The Larson Law Office at 713.221.9088 to speak with Diana Larson or Erik Larson.