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Dealing with children's emotions during a divorce

Michigan parents who are ending their marriage should try to talk to thei children together when they tell them about the divorce. The right timing may make the process less difficult. March and August are the most popular times to file for divorce. The former month allows parents to deal with many aspects of the divorce while the children are in school while the latter month may give parents the opportunity to spend more time with their children.

Parents need to consider whether they can continue to stay in the same house during the divorce process. They should focus on minimizing the disruption to children's lives, and this includes avoiding conflict in front of children. If the divorce is less contentious, they might be able to take turns living in the house while the children stay there full time. A temporary custody and support order may be necessary. The specifics of the permanent version that is put in place after the divorce of this order may change.

Parents should answer their children's questions, but they should avoid going over the details of the divorce with them. A collaborative divorce might promote cooperation and better co-parenting practices in the years ahead.

There are several factors parents may want to take into consideration regarding custody including the child's wishes, who the main caregiver is and what will provide more stability for the child. Parents might want to share custody equally, but they may conclude that this is too disruptive for the child's schedule. Often parents will share legal custody while only one has full physical custody. This means that they will share responsibility for decisions about issues such as the child's education and health while the child has visitation time with the noncustodial parent. Their respective family law attorneys can often assist in negotiating this issue.

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