Navigating Child Custody and Visitation During Divorce

How to Navigate Child Custody and Visitation During Divorce or Separation

When you are in the depths of a divorce or separation, it is not hyperbole to state that you are likely in one of the most emotionally difficult times of your life. You will have no shortage of strong emotions kicking around, making day-to-day life a struggle.

Yet, for children of parents currently in the midst of a divorce or separation, their day-to-day lifestyle will be of paramount concern. Children will want to know what is happening, where they will sleep, if they will see a certain parent and when. These questions are extremely common for children in this situation.

Unlike after a divorce or separation where a co-parenting arrangement can be created, during a divorce or separation is often a turbulent time to make these arrangements. Yet, it is important that you do so.

Today we’ll be exploring how to best navigate child custody and visitation during a divorce or separation, and provide you with the tools and insight to make the best of this difficult time in your life.

Keep The Child Informed

Before we delve into the specifics of how child custody and visitation will work from your perspective, it’s important we quickly outline the child’s perspective. Children are intelligent, even at a young age, and they will know their life is changing.

To best support your child through this time, we recommend you:

  • Are as honest and up-front as you can be with their questions, as long as the answers are appropriate for a child,
  • Reassure them that they will still see both parents, even if one parent is away during divorce proceedings,
  • Inform them about the changes to their life, and how you are navigating the situation,
  • Ask them what they want in a co-parenting arrangement. Such as “Do you want Daddy to pick you up from footy practice?” or “Do you want to be with Mommy on the weekend?”
    • Important: Refrain from asking these questions as a method of skewing the co-parenting arrangement in someone’s favour. Instead, approach these questions with the intention of giving your child agency over this change in their life.

Two Roads Ahead of You: Legally Defined or Not

Divorce proceedings will often go down two different roads. You will either be pursuing divorce with legal representation, or you will be filing for an uncontested divorce (Also known as a no-fault divorce) through the legal system, but won’t actually require any legal representation.

The nature of how you are pursuing a divorce will dictate the tools you have at your disposal when it comes to visitation and child custody. Let’s explore both of these in a little more detail, and see how each will differ when it comes to child custody and visitation.

Traditional Divorce Proceedings

For couples working through a more traditional divorce proceeding, each with their own legal representation, mediation services and procedures will be available to help you create a stop-gap arrangement for child custody and visitation.

The process is quite straightforward, involving the legal mediator sitting with both parents and discussing a fair co-parenting arrangement that works for both of you. It’s important to note that unless there is any danger to the child (In the event of violence, abuse, etc) then this agreement will strive for equality.

A judge may be required to approve the agreement, ensuring that fair and equal grounds have been met and that the child’s safety, security, and care are the priority of the agreement.

A Temporary Child Custody Order will then be signed by both parties, outlining a structure for your child’s life, each parent’s responsibilities, drop-off times, as well as any other finite details that need to be straightened out. You can see this as a temporary parenting plan, and it will serve as how you’ll operate until the divorce is final.

Uncontested (No-Fault) Divorce

If you are pursuing an uncontested or no-fault divorce, then you will not have these legal frameworks available to you. This won’t come as a surprise, as if you are pursuing a no-fault divorce, then you and your ex-partner have managed to agree to fair terms to your split that don’t involve legal mediation.

This carries over to your co-parenting responsibilities for your child. To have a no-fault or uncontested divorce granted by a judge, then the court will need to see that you have created an effective co-parenting arrangement for any children under the age of eighteen.

This is why it’s a good idea to sit down and create an official parenting plan, even if it only serves as a temporary arrangement until the divorce is finalized. The agreement should outline all facets of your child’s life, including:

  • Where they will sleep on what days,
  • Drop off and pick up locations,
  • How to handle birthdays and holidays,
  • Who will take the child to certain activities,
  • And more…

Handling Visitation During a Rocky Divorce

It’s important we acknowledge that there will be divorces with more serious circumstances. This could include elements of substance abuse, domestic abuse, and more. If this is the case with your ex-partner, then it can be tempting to cut off visitation, or difficult to come to an arrangement that doesn’t cause significant emotional turmoil.

As tempting as it is, we urge you to allow visitation if an amicable and safe arrangement can be made. Family courts will often look down on any attempt to prevent a child from seeing their parent, as long as that child is safe to do so.

If you feel unsafe, or simply can’t communicate with your ex-partner to make this arrangement, then legal mediation is a good option to form this arrangement. However, it is not required, and a simple arrangement of regular visitation can be made verbally.

You are free to dictate the terms, but you must strive for a fair arrangement when it comes to your child. As difficult as it is, you must separate the circumstances of the divorce from how your children interact with their parents. The courts will expect that attitude from both parties, regardless of the kind of divorce proceedings you are taking.

In Conclusion

Trying to ensure a secure and loving future for your children during a divorce or separation can be a deeply exhausting task. It’s easy to see why many couples in the process of divorce or separation can get this wrong, making mistakes that could affect their child’s well-being in the long run.

Thankfully, with the information outlined here, you now have a more solid understanding of what is expected of you from legal divorce proceedings. As well as how to handle creating a temporary custody order, and managing visitation during the divorce proceedings.

Never hesitate to reach out and find support for yourself in this trying time. Everyone can do with a helping hand, and there is no shortage of resources out there to ensure you get the support you need.

Outcomes of Divorce on Children: Infants to Adults

Outcomes of Divorce or Separation for Infants to Adults

It’s no secret that we can never truly know how our children will mature into adults. As parents, we like to think we have a solid grasp on who they are as people, but deep down, we understand that the adult world will often shape our children in ways out of our control.

Much of our effort as parents is focused on the time we do have control over, specifically our child’s formative years. As these years will shape a considerable amount of our child’s demeanour throughout their adult life.

Sadly, a divorce or separation can have a profound effect on a child’s growth. Research has shown that a wide range of behavioural, emotional, and even philosophical changes caused by a divorce or separation can shape children in their adult years.

Today we’ll be exploring those changes, and specifically outlining what this may mean for the adult your child will one day become.

Outcomes of Divorce or Separation: By Age Group

Depending on the age of your child when the divorce or separation happens, the effects can differ. We’ve explored these effects in detail, across our other in-depth articles on the subject. For a better understanding, we recommend you also read those.

Today we’ll be taking a broad-stroke look at how each age group responds to divorce. Providing you with a foundational understanding of what your child may be going through.

Then, we’ll discuss how these effects can manifest in developmental and growth outcomes for your child as an adult.

Birth to 18 Months

Although this may come as a surprise, divorce or separation can have an effect as early as birth. Infants may sense a conflict between their parents and in the house, but they are unable to comprehend why it is happening. If the stress persists, babies may exhibit frequent emotional outbursts, and become irritable and clinging, especially around unfamiliar individuals. Additionally, they could regress or have developmental delays.

18 Months to 3 Years Old

Children between the ages of 18 months and 3 years might experience emotional and psychological effects from divorce. A child’s primary link with their parents throughout the toddler years makes any significant upheaval in the home environment challenging to accept and understand. Furthermore, toddlers are egocentric and could believe they are to blame for their parent’s divorce. They may frequently scream and demand more attention than normal, regress and resume thumb-sucking, fight toilet training, grow afraid of being left alone, have difficulty falling asleep, or have difficulties sleeping by themselves at night.

3 to 6 Years Old

Divorce is a challenging topic for kids between the ages of 3 and 6, mostly due to the terrifying amount of uncertainty it brings. No matter how stressful their home life may be, pre-schoolers do not comprehend the concept of divorce and do not want their parents to split.

Pre-schoolers, like toddlers, could think that they are ultimately to blame for their parent’s divorce. They can feel apprehensive about the future, repress their anger, have unfavourable thoughts or ideas, or have frequent nightmares.

6 to 11 Years Old

Children between the ages of 6 and 11 who are in school may experience emotions of abandonment as a result of divorce. Younger children, particularly those aged 5 to 8, may not comprehend the idea and believe their parents are divorcing them. They can be concerned about losing one of their parents and have fantasies about their parents reconciling. Kids frequently think they can “save” their parents’ union.

Children between the ages of 8 and 11 may hold one parent responsible for the breakup and side with the “good” parent against the “bad.” As they show their rage in many ways, such as by fighting with peers, lashing out at the outside world, or becoming worried, withdrawn, or sad, they may accuse their parents of being cruel or selfish. Some children have physical signs of divorce, such as unsettled stomachs or headaches brought on by stress, as well as fabricated illnesses that cause them to miss school.


The Outcomes Moving into Adult Life

Starting in their teenage years, children will begin to demonstrate many of the psychological effects on their personality, growth, and philosophy, that a divorce or separation may have caused. It’s important to note that it’s no guarantee these effects will take root, but we will be outlining them under the assumption they have.

As outlined in the academic research paper “Children of Divorce:  An Investigation of the Developmental Effects from Infancy Through Adulthood” by Leeann Kot and Holly M. Shoemaker, adults (and teenagers) of divorced parents exhibit a higher likelihood of:

  • Depression,
  • Anxiety disorders,
  • Anger issues,
  • Poor communication/social skills, especially with their parents,
  • Insomnia,
  • Emotional instability or sensitivity,
  • Inferiority complex,
  • Disillusion with future marriage prospects,
  • Poor academic engagement,
  • Nihilistic attitude towards relationships in general,
  • Anti-social or destructive behaviour.

In Conclusion

Whilst research into children of divorce and their adult development can be daunting, it’s no cause for alarm. Research has reflected time and time again that children with a strong support network, close connection with their parents, and an honest dialogue to discuss what they are feeling, will often overcome these issues early.

There are no guarantees in life, but being there for your child, and educating yourself on what they’re going through, is the most effective step you can take. Never forget, there is no shortage of support out there for you as well.

Adolescent Adjustment to Parental Divorce

Going through a divorce or separation is a turbulent time, with a wealth of emotions going around on all fronts. It’s no secret that navigating through this is a monolithic task, and we are not always going to do our best.

Yet, for parents of adolescent teens, this time can be difficult for a much different reason. Unlike young children, adolescent teens have the emotional capacity to comprehend fully what is going on. Sadly, they are rarely equipped with the emotional maturity, and introspective tools, to process this healthily.

This can leave adolescents in a rough spot when it comes to adjusting to this new reality of their parental unit. As parents, it can often be difficult to fully understand what our adolescent children are feeling, and how to best help them cope.

Today we’ll be exploring what research into adolescent adjustment to parental divorce has shown us when it comes to understanding how your child may feel, how to best support them and help put them on the right path to processing this tectonic shift in their lives.

Unpacking What Is Going Through an Adolescent’s Mind During Divorce

Just like their parents, an adolescent teen will be feeling and thinking a lot during this time. For some, this may be the first major change in their entire lives. Let’s cover what your child may be feeling, and what their practical concerns maybe once they learn the news.


  • They may feel relaxed, even happy if this is something that has been building for some time. It’s not uncommon for adolescents to identify this moment as a fresh start,
  • Overwhelmed with feelings of guilt, if they think they are the cause of the divorce or separation,
  • Resentful that you’ve made this choice, changing their life and forcing them to deal with your problems,
  • They may feel relieved if the relationship with one parent is tense, and they see this as a method of distancing themselves, or resolving a longstanding conflict,
  • Worried about losing contact with one of their parents, or even both of you, due to the parents no longer wanting to be together,
  • Anxious about the future, not knowing what’s going to happen, or how it’s going to happen.

Practical Concerns

  • Where are they going to live?
  • Will they have two houses? Can they stay in one house as a primary residence?
  • Will they have to move schools, states, or even countries?
  • Will both parents still support them in the future?

It’s important to note: These feelings and concerns, on the surface, may seem short-sighted, selfish, and perhaps even annoying or stupid given the context of your divorce or separation. However, the human mind is rarely a purely rational being.

It’s vital that you don’t pass judgement on how your child may be feeling, or what they are thinking. In a lot of ways, your child will be in crisis mode.

Let’s discuss how to address these feelings and concerns down below.

Helping Your Adolescent to Adjust to a Divorce or Separation

There is a range of methods you can employ to help your adolescent child adjust, and they’re not difficult.

Let’s explore them one by one:

Maintain Normal Routines

It will be simpler for your child to adjust to the change in your family if they can maintain their daily routine, continue living in the same home or neighbourhood, attend the same school, and continue participating in usual activities like sports.

Shield Your Child from Conflict

Being exposed to hostility and constant disagreement between you and your child’s other parent is bad for your child’s mental health.

Therefore, it’s preferable if you can refrain from discussing the problems of the separation with your child or disparaging their former parent. When your youngster isn’t there, speak to a friend or member of your family if you need to vent your irritation. Another option is to speak with a counsellor.

Provide a Safe Space to Talk Openly

Your adolescent will need the opportunity to voice their thoughts once you have had your say. This might happen when you initially speak to them or afterwards when they’ve had some time to reflect.

This can help them better manage challenging emotions and worries by talking about them. Active listening may also assist you in determining the best way to soothe your kid when they are ready to speak.

Your child may express the desire to chat with another trusted adult, such as an aunt or uncle, a family friend, a teacher, or a counsellor if they find it difficult to talk to you about the separation. This is perfectly healthy, and you shouldn’t take this personally.

Reassure Your Child

Teenagers will often be feeling a lot of emotions, and have a lot of questions about their future. Regardless of what they’re feeling or thinking, it’s important that you’re there to reassure them, and have an honest conversation about their concerns.

Your child will need to be reassured, often several times. You may find you can’t provide reassurance for everything, but continue to be honest and open with them. Providing them with a space to get reassurance when they need it.

In Conclusion

There is no secret trick or hack to helping your adolescent adjust to a divorce or separation. Simply being present, open, and honest are the key pillars that will help your child to navigate this difficult time.

As parents, this can be overwhelming. Rest assured that there is no shortage of support out there for you as well. We all need a helping hand, and research has shown countless times that a strong support network is beneficial for everyone.

Parental Divorce and The Consequences for Children

Parental Divorce and The Consequences for Children

Choosing to divorce or separate is never without its complications. There are often unique elements to this choice for every couple, with varying degrees of emotional, financial, and lifestyle impacts depending on your circumstances.

However, children are one key factor that undercuts this choice for everyone. It’s no secret that the choice to separate or divorce can profoundly impact your child’s growth, and may play a key role in how they develop into an adult.

This can be a paralyzing reality that many couples face when they choose to divorce or separate. Often leading to anxiety about how to best prepare, support, and nurture your child through this foundational change in your child’s, and your own lives.

Today we’ll be exploring the consequences of divorce or separation for children. Specifically, we’ll be taking a research and academic-based approach, to equip you with the information you need to make this transition in a healthy and supportive manner.

Do Not Fear the Headlines – The Truth About the Consequences

It’s vital that we first outline an important piece of information, before exploring the consequences a divorce or separation can have on your child. The important word in that sentence is “can”. 

When parents research this topic, it is very easy to become alarmed. The truth is, there are many different aspects of your child’s life, growth, and personality that can be shaped by divorce or separation.

Yet, as is outlined in a wide range of academic papers on the subject, including “The Impact of Parental Divorce on Children’s Educational Attainment, Marital Timing, and Likelihood of Divorce” by Verna M. Keith and Barbara Finlay, these effects are merely more likely.

Unpacking The Statistics: An Example Dissected

To provide an example: Research has shown that children who have divorced or separated parents are more likely to be prone to mental illness later in life.

On the surface, that’s an alarming piece of information. Until you learn that the increase is merely a few percent. Meaning only a fraction of children with divorced or separated parents has suffered this consequence.

When reading the consequences below, you must keep this reality of statistics in mind. Your child may suffer none of these effects. They may not suffer these effects as a result of your divorce or separation either. 

The overwhelming majority of research into this subject has underlined one key factor to a child’s future after divorce. If they have love, support, and a strong connection with their parents, then they have everything they need to grow into perfectly healthy adults.

Emotional Consequences

A divorce or separation will have many immediate emotional effects on your child. This may be the first time your child is faced with a range of emotions, especially depression, stress, and anxiety. Because of this, there is a range of emotional consequences that can present themselves.


Children often lack the introspective tools adults rely on to process a significant change in their lifestyles, such as a divorce or separation. Yet, research has shown that children will often become introspective regardless.

Because they are ill-equipped to properly process this sudden introspection, this can manifest itself as depression. It is common for children to blame themselves, and think they played a key role in their parent’s divorce.

In the long-term, research has reflected that children of divorce suffer a higher rate of depression in adult life.

Anxiety & Stress

Both anxiety and stress will be the most present consequence your child faces on an emotional level, as the result of a divorce or separation. If your child is under the age of eight, this is likely the first time they’ve experienced these two emotions as well.

Your child will likely become hyper-focused on the smaller parts of life. What’s for breakfast? Do I get a juice box? Can I play with my toys later? What are you doing?

Questions like this, whilst innocent on the surface (And expected from almost any child) are a sign your child is stressing out, or anxious, over small details. These questions will likely become more frequent as a result.

Lifestyle Consequences

Tackling lifestyle consequences is difficult, due to the broad nature of our lives. No two lives are the same, and the consequences your child will face as a result will differ. Yet, there is one key consequence that the vast majority of children will face as the result of a divorce or separation.

Two Homes – How to Adjust?

This is a complex topic, and we highly recommend you read our more in-depth article exploring this in more detail. However, we can provide some small insight into how to better handle this reality in the short term.

Honest and open communication is the key to helping your child adapt to suddenly having two homes. Simply be upfront with them, explain the situation, and provide your child with their own space in each home.

In the long term, our article goes into more detail. However, there are no research-based findings that suggest any lasting negative effects as a result of this lifestyle change.

Behavioral Consequences

Perhaps the most explored area of research for the consequences faced by children of divorce is behavioral consequences. This is primarily a result of how children, especially before their teenage years, primarily communicate.

As parents, we will be attuned to the behavior of our children. A shift in their typical behavior is easy to spot, and research has shown that a majority of children will present drastic shifts in their behavior in the short term.

These consequences include:

  • Sudden destructive behavior,
  • Arguing,
  • Shouting, temper problems, or tantrums,
  • Lashing out physically,
  • Being quiet, not wanting to be around others,
  • Crying.

These behavioral consequences are to be expected in the short term. Your child will be struggling with complex emotions. Research has shown that in the long term if left unchecked, this can lead to anger problems, depression, anxiety disorders, as well as a range of other mental illnesses.

In Conclusion

The consequences faced by children of divorce are diverse and complex. Presenting what can often feel like an impossible quandary at an already difficult time. Whilst the statistical likelihood of your child developing long-term negative effects is small, that likelihood still exists.

Thankfully, this reality is not without its silver lining. Now equipped with a broader understanding of the short-term and long-term consequences a divorce or separation can have on a child, you have the tools you need to provide support for this drastic change in your child’s life.

For more in-depth analysis on many of these topics, we highly recommend you browse our wealth of information on this topic. 

The Effects of Divorce on Children’s Behaviour

The Effects of Divorce on Children’s Behaviour

Navigating through a divorce or separation with your partner is nothing short of anxiety-inducing. It is often a process of untangling two economically and emotionally connected lives. Yet, the complexity of this process is confounded when children are involved.

It’s no secret that a divorce or separation can have profound effects on a child’s behaviour. No matter how the divorce or separation is handled, it’s impossible to predict how your child will react, or change, as a result of the decision.

Thankfully, this situation doesn’t have to be without its level of control. Research has shown that understanding how your child’s behaviour may change beforehand can significantly help you mitigate behavioural problems that arise.

Join us today as we outline and explore the most common behavioural changes a child can present as a result of divorce or separation.

Take In the Bigger Picture – First-Year Problems

Working through a divorce or separation can often put us in a hyperactive mindset. We become extremely problem-focused, to rebuild the foundation beneath our lives. Whilst we all experience this differently, it is extremely common for this attitude to cross over to problems our child may be facing.

This is a mistake in the first year of a divorce or separation.

Children of all ages, even into their teenage years, will have difficulty adapting to such a large change in their sociological structure. Your child may be experiencing extreme stress, depression, or anxiety for the first time in their life.

Because of this, changes in their behaviour during this period will be erratic. You will likely see your child act in ways you’ve never witnessed before.

We are absolutely not saying you need to distance yourself from your child going through this. Provide them with the same love and support you always would.

Simply acknowledge that this time will be difficult for everyone, and isn’t a reflection of any long-term effects.

Let’s instead delve into the more common long-term behavioural changes that children experiencing their parent’s divorce or separation often exhibit.

The Most Common Effects of Divorce or Separation on Children’s Behaviour

There are many long-term effects a divorce or separation can have on your child’s behaviour in the long-term. Here is a selection of the most common behavioural changes that can manifest:

Anger and Irritability

Divorce and separation will be overwhelming to most children, especially when they are younger. This can cause, in the long-term, a tendency to express themselves with anger or general irritability.

This will likely not be due to an overwhelming external cause, but instead over small hiccups in daily life. You may notice your child is more prone to arguing with you, shouting, or generally being upset over small inconveniences.

Studies into adolescent behaviour of divorced parents show that, later in life, anger issues can often become engrained.  

Emotionally Sensitive

A somewhat subtle behavioural change is emotional sensitivity for children with divorced or separated parents. Children, in general, are emotionally sensitive to begin with, so it’s no surprise that this can often fly under the radar.

If you notice your child having a more muted, or explosive emotional response than normal, this is likely a sign they are emotionally sensitive.

Research into this behaviour reveals it is most commonly derived from anxiety. Children, especially teenagers, often are not well-equipped to deal with anxiety. This causes internal emotional turmoil, most often expressed externally as emotional sensitivity.

Prone to Sickness

Whilst it may be surprising to hear, studies have shown that children of divorce or separation have a higher perceptibility to general illness. There is a wide range of medical factors at play here, but the most likely culprits are stress, depression, anxiety, and difficulty with sleep.


Jumping off from our last point, we should talk about insomnia. Academic studies into insomnia have noted that adults with divorced parents have a higher likelihood to develop the condition later in life.

The majority (<70%) of adult insomnia patients expressed that they had difficulty sleeping when they were younger. Especially through the years following their parent’s divorce or separation.

In Conclusion

We know that seeing these effects spelled out so plainly can feel overwhelming, even daunting, to conceptualize when it comes to understanding how your child may be affected by divorce or separation.

However, it’s vital that you know that there is no guarantee that any, or all, of these behavioural effects, will manifest in your child. Every kid is different, and with a loving and supportive household, there is no reason to think any of these effects will take root.

Yet, if they do, you have already equipped yourself with the foresight to tackle these problems when they arise. Remember, there is always support out there for you and your child, no matter the problems you face.

How to Set Up a New Home After Divorce

After divorce

Moving on after a finalized divorce is never easy, and it’s even harder when there are children involved. Splitting your family into two households and moving into a new home can be heartbreaking, even if the divorce was amicable.

However, it’s important to look on the bright side, too. Every painful separation comes with a unique chance to get a fresh start in life. The best thing you can do is make that fresh start count as you move into your new house.

Today, we’re going to discuss some ways to help you and your children get settled after a separation.

A house doesn’t become a home until you’re living in it. Your move can be a great opportunity to focus your attention on something positive and constructive.

For our top suggestions on setting up a new home after divorce, keep reading.

Set the Tone for Your Household Early

As always, it’s important to get things off to a positive start. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to set the mood for your family. If you approach moving day with a pessimistic attitude, your kids will pick up on that.

Think about how you want them to feel as they move into their new home. Then, model that emotion for them and try to create an experience that fosters optimism. Your children will thank you for it when they’re older.

Repaint the Walls in Your New House

Simply sleeping in a new place doesn’t turn a house into a home. To really feel at home somewhere, you’ve got to establish a sense of ownership. Making your mark on a new house by repainting or redecorating is one way to do that.

You may not feel in the mood to decorate or do any painting. You may not feel that the new house is really worth going to all that trouble for. But trust us when we say that it’s worth it; you and your kids will feel better afterward.

Invest in New Furniture and Decorations

As with repainting, nothing makes a place feel like home like cozy furniture and decor.

It’s important to show that you take your move into your new home seriously. This kind of proactive, intentional attitude will go a long way toward lifting your family’s spirits. Investing time and money into your comfort is one way to do that.

You might consider making a special trip to a local furniture store with your kids. Try to keep things lighthearted, even if you don’t purchase anything right away. Allow yourselves to dream about the kind of home you’ll set up together.

Let Your Children Set Up Their Rooms

A very important part of moving post-divorce is giving your kids a sense of ownership in the new home. They may feel vulnerable and out of control as a consequence of their parents’ separation. Giving them their own rooms can help.

Although they might not seem excited about it at first, children thrive best when they feel responsible for something. Whether it’s a pet fish or a small part of the house, letting your child assume ownership in a situation is healthy.

With that in mind, let your children choose their bedrooms if possible. Then encourage them to arrange and decorate their rooms. You might even take them to a furniture or craft store to buy or make decorations they can use.

Bring in Greenery and Natural Light

One of the best things you can do for your emotional well-being is to bring in some nature. Opening blinds to let light in and buying a few potted plants can really lift the mood.

Set Up a Routine for Your Family Soon

Although kids thrive with a healthy amount of control, they also need external structure. Leaving them to their own devices for too long can make them feel stressed or isolated. It’s important to plan activities and chores for the family.

A routine could be as simple as going out to eat once a week or as elaborate as a detailed schedule. Just make sure to give your kids a say in what you do together. But don’t be afraid to set some rules, too.

Avoid Allowing Clutter to Accumulate

A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind. Post-separation, everyone is probably feeling a little prone to stress as it is. Unpacked boxes, scattered packing materials, and belongings being strewn about can make it worse.

While you don’t need to do everything at once, you should avoid leaving messes. Try to keep the clutter and chaos to a minimum as you move in.

Allow Time and Space for Everyone to Adjust

Although healthy activity is going to be quite important during this time, the key is to seek balance. Rest and time for reflection are just as important.

You and your kids are going through a lot right now. Make sure everyone has plenty of rest and time to themselves when they need it.

Let 2houses Help Keep Your Family Organized

By now, you should have a clear idea of how to get your family settled into a new home post-divorce. From investing in furniture to helping your kids be involved, these suggestions are sure to take you a long way.

However, for separated parents, moving in is just the first step. You still have a two-household family to manage, and that can be a challenge.

Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. 2houses offers convenient, comprehensive tools for making your new life easier, from group scheduling to shared finances.

Learn more and start your free trial today.

Sociological Effects of Divorce on Children

Divorce and children

Making the choice to divorce or separate is never easy, especially when children are involved. It can often feel impossible to gauge how this might affect your child. This can leave you feeling powerless to tackle the problems that may arise.

Thankfully, many studies have been conducted on the sociological effects of divorce on children. Understanding how different children react to and process a separation or divorce can be vital to ensuring your child grows up without any lasting effects on their development.

Today we’ll explore the known sociological effects that affect children with separated or divorced parents. as well as strive to provide helpful ways to manage, support, and understand your child in this difficult time.

Humans As Social Creatures: The Cornerstone to Adolescent Growth

Before we delve into the sociological effects of divorce on children, it’s important to lay a foundation of understanding for humans in general. It’s common for these problems to be isolated into their own little box, ignoring the broader scope of how we all operate.

Humans are social creatures, and children are significantly more reliant on the sociological structures around them than adults. We yearn for connection, protection, and understanding amongst our peers. If we begin to lose these connections, we will often reflect introspectively to find out why.

This phenomenon is responsible for a significant amount of personal growth in all adults.

Yet, what about a child?

Children will respond to a divorce or separation differently, yet they all share one key quality. They suffer a pivotal collapse of a core sociological structure in their lives. They become introspective, yet they are often too young to fully process what this means.

It’s for this reason that the following sociological effects can manifest themselves: 

Difficulty With Academic Engagement

Children who experience their parents’ divorce at a young age will often struggle with academic studies in the future, studies reflect. The core theory behind this has to do with their inability to develop healthy relationships with their peers and teachers.

On the surface, this can express itself in the form of disillusionment. Children will often express no excitement for study and a nihilistic attitude towards what it can offer them. Inside, children will feel as if they can’t connect or succeed after experiencing such a traumatic event so early in their lives.

Sudden Destructive Behaviour

Studies have shown that children who suffer through the divorce of their parents are likely to express themselves through destructive behaviour. For younger children, below the age of ten, this is often seen through trashing their room, fighting their parents physically, or committing a petty crime.

For teenagers, destructive behaviour can often be drug-related, involve violence at school, or involve petty crime as well.

Feelings of Guilt, Anxiety, Pain, and Regret

Immediately following a divorce or separation, children will be feeling a cocktail of emotions. These include acute guilt, anxiety, pain, and regret. While each child will process these differently, studies have shown that for up to a year after the divorce or separation, it can have a negative impact on their social behaviour.

There is no one true answer to how this will present itself. Every child is different. Yet, knowing your child is feeling this range of emotions should help you to approach them in a healthy manner.

The academic studies around this topic reflect one key element that’s helpful. You should not approach this problem with the belief you’ll “solve” it. Instead, simply give your child a healthy medium to express what they’re feeling.

Inferiority Complex

It is extremely common for children to develop an inferiority complex as they mature when a divorce or separation happens early in their lives. The prevailing theory behind the cause of this has to do with the above point. Feelings of guilt, primarily, cause the child to feel that they were the reason for the divorce.

While these feelings are frequently subconscious, they have no bearing on the outcome. This can express itself in their ability to make friends, their academic studies, their teenage love lives, and even how they view their own bodies.

The best approach to tackling this problem is honesty. When your child is old enough to understand, be upfront with why the divorce or separation happened.

Disillusion In Future Marriage Prospects

It is not uncommon for children with divorced parents to have a disillusioned attitude toward marriage in their adult lives. This connection makes sense because they frequently feel as if they’ve seen how marriage can fail and want to avoid heartache.

Studies have also reflected that this can also spill over into how adults with divorced parents operate in the dating world. They often don’t look for deep connections and have trouble opening up enough to make a deep and long-lasting one.

In Conclusion

While this list may make you cringe, it is critical to put all of this information into context. Understanding the issues that your child may face as a result of their parents’ divorce is half the battle. There is no guarantee that your child will suffer from any or all of these sociological issues.

Yet, if they do, you’ll have the understanding and compassion to be there for them. Helping them to understand and process a divorce or separation.

How do Co-Parents Make Daycare Choices?


Making decisions concerning childcare can be challenging for parents who are separating or divorcing. Making wise shared decisions about childcare may be complicated by poor communication, frequent arguments, or resentment resulting from past problems. Even though it may be challenging to talk about this subject, it’s crucial that co-parents agree on the best options for childcare.

The great majority of parents use some type of daycare to watch over their young children while they are at work. This is especially true for parents who no longer share a home after a divorce, separation, or custody dispute. In other situations, a child will need to go to daycare because a parent is going back to work for the first time in a long time to support themselves.

A co-parent is not allowed to deny the other parent access to the child’s daycare center or withhold information regarding babysitters. Both you and the other parent have equal rights to information and participation when it comes to childcare when you split custody.

Child’s safety is priority

Your child should feel safe and secure wherever they may be, and whoever is looking after them should be someone that you and  your co-parent can rely on. Make sure the person has prior experience caring for youngsters, or that they are trained in baby or child CPR and other emergency measures, while selecting the best candidate to look after your child.

Ask the persons you discuss this matter with if they are willing to watch your child at one or both of your houses, or if you must bring your child to their house or childcare center. Visit the place before agreeing to leave your child there if they are unable to come to your home. Make sure that the location is both kid- and adult-friendly.

Photo by Naomi Shi on Pexels

Think about various forms of childcare

There are many options for childcare, so you should weigh them all before deciding which one is best for your family. You could hire a live-in nanny if you require full-time childcare. In this case, think about whether they will require access to both of your residences. This might be feasible if you live close enough to one another and your childcare provider is accommodating.

Find a babysitter or sitters that you and your co-parent can call if you don’t require full-time childcare for your kids, for example on federal holidays or snow days, when daycare is closed but parents are still expected to work. You don’t need to deal with further disagreement because of your choice of babysitter, so make sure that these are somebody that you both can agree on.

Consider daycare if you don’t live close enough for someone to commute between your houses or if you and your co-parent are unable to come to an agreement on this solution. You and your co-parent can leave your child at a daycare facility away from the house where they will be watched over by one or more competent adults. Daycare centers usually watch over numerous kids at once, so this is a terrific chance for your kids to meet new friends and develop social skills.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Talk about expenses

When co-parents are at disagreement, the expense of childcare can be a major issue as child care is often expensive. If you and your co-parent decide to split these expenses, the amount of time each of you spends with the child and your individual income will probably affect how much each of you will pay. In any case, try to collaborate with your co-parent to find a daycare center that is both reasonable and practical for you both, as well as appealing to your child.

Families with modest incomes can typically access childcare subsidies. Childcare assistance programs offer money to working parents or, in some situations, parents who are enrolled in school to help with the expense of licensed in-home or center-based child care. Qualifying requirements differ by state so if you want to apply, you will have to find out how does child care subsidy work where you live and its benefits.

Put everything on paper

As soon as you and your co-parent come to a decision regarding childcare, it should be put in writing. This is typically accomplished when creating your parenting strategy. Cover each matter on which you have made a choice in your plan. These could include things like a list of the child care institutions you’ve approved, how to pay for the associated expenses, how to get to and from child care facilities, and much more.

Consider including this information in your parenting plan even if you are amending an earlier arrangement for childcare by switching nannies or hiring new babysitters. Consult your lawyer for advice on how to proceed because you might need to file your revisions with the court in order to include them in your existing papers.

In conclusion

All these actions will help you and your child in the long run as you decide how to handle childcare as co-parents. Setting up your child’s care schedule, your parental obligations, and your new connection with the child’s other parent can all be done with the help of a co-parenting plan. Making sure that your child can develop secure and positive bonds with all their parents is crucial.

Balancing Blended Families: How to Avoid Badmouthing

How to Avoid Badmouthing

With the holidays comes a certain amount of tension. As a matter of fact, 88% of Americans find the holiday season to be one of the most stressful times of the year! It gets even harder when you’re trying to manage a blended family and can lead to bad behavior like badmouthing. 

Often, with all of the added stressors of the holidays, parents aren’t on their best behavior. They’re worn down from holiday shopping, decorations, parties, work, work engagements, and the cold and dreary weather.

Under enough stress, they snap. They may resort to “less than ideal” behavior. Badmouthing (among other types of stress-related behavior) is bad for the children (and the family dynamic as a whole). 

Read on to learn how to avoid it. 

Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time

It’s no secret that the holidays are going to bring with them some serious stressors. You already know this, so start preparing weeks (if not more) ahead of time. 

This is a great time to start journaling, practicing self-care (more on that later), and potentially talking to someone about your concerns. Talk to your counselor about how you’re feeling and some worries you have about how the holidays will go. 

Don’t leave room for surprises. 

If you’re going to be sending your child(ren) from one home to another, know exactly how the pick-up and drop-off will go. Plan a time and location so you can prepare both yourself and your family. 

You should also plan the unrelated details of your holiday ahead of time. The better-prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll be. That will make it easier for you to stay on good behavior. 

Plan How to React

While you’re preparing, try to consider any potential events that could trigger an emotional response. Not reacting poorly in the moment is a challenge for anyone, and it’s understandable that stress would make it even more difficult.

Consider potential scenarios that could come up. Whether it’s a fight between you (or a family member) and your co-parent, someone being late for pick-up or drop-off, or snide comments, it’s good to know how you plan to respond in a healthy way. 

Find Ways to Relieve Stress

Try to find self-care and stress-relief methods on the days and weeks leading up to the holidays. 

You’re likely going to be busy with holiday preparations, but do what you can to take breaks every now and again. Give yourself an at-home spa day, let a babysitter or family member watch the kids, go see a movie with friends, or find one of the countless other opportunities to remove yourself from your stressors for just a few hours.

Consider talking to a therapist if you don’t already. It’s not uncommon for people to only see therapists during times of stress. With a therapist, you can also “badmouth” your former partner as much as you’d like to in a safe and harmless environment.

Your therapist may also be able to help you re-route those negative thoughts into something more positive. 

Collaborate With Your Co-Parent

If it’s possible to do so, work together with your co-parent to make the situation as relaxing as possible.

If you plan on spending time together, that’s amazing! Not everyone can do that, so that’s a great thing you’re doing for your child. You also know it can be even more frustrating than just doing a pick-up and drop-off, however.

Plan ahead. Talk about things on the “not to do” list that you can both avoid to prevent any unnecessary tension. Talk about topics that you won’t bring up.

Consider coming up with a “cue” that you can use to tell the other parent that you need to go take a break. You can both use this non-verbal cue if you’re feeling your tempers rise. 

If you’re spending most of the time apart, you should still collaborate. Talk to your former partner about what you will and will not say around the children. Remember, this is not your child’s problem. 

Think Before You Speak

This seems simple, but it’s tougher than you think during a stressful time.

Always take a second to breathe before you react to something upsetting. Often, our mouths move faster than our brains! Give yourself a moment to think before you say something you regret.

It’s always better to be silent than to badmouth. 

Avoid Passive Aggression

This is a tough one!

Many parents are fantastic at avoiding overt badmouthing, but they may dip into passive aggression when they’re feeling upset. It’s totally understandable during stressful holidays, but it’s not as subtle as you think it is.

Children can pick up on passive aggression, so you’re not hiding your badmouthing by making it more subtle. Your co-parent will also pick up on it and it could make the situation worse.

If you have a problem, excuse yourself and your co-parent and speak directly. 

Focus on the Holiday

At the end of the day, all you can do is focus on the joy of the holiday. You want to create the best holiday experience for your child (and yourself), so make the most of it.

Yes, it’s stressful. Yes, your co-parent may irritate you or do something you don’t expect. You may do the same to them without realizing it!

Try to get into the holiday spirit anyway. Focus on what’s good.

Avoid Badmouthing During the Holidays

While the holidays can bring out the worst in us, badmouthing is never the answer. Practice self-care, see a counselor, prepare ahead of time, and consider the other recommendations on our list.

Are you looking for a tool that can make co-parenting easier and less stressful for parents and children alike? 2houses gives you access to a family journal, a family calendar, financial organization features, and more. Give it a try today.

Parental separation and divorce: how to support children

Divorce or separation

Divorce or separation usually mean significant changes to family life. Children may be upset and depressed as these changes take place. It’s normal for children to be feeling that way. It will help them understand that this is a challenging moment.

Engaging your child in conversation is among the most effective ways to assist them in adapting to the changes. There are a few actions you can take to aid, such as sticking to routines that are familiar. Try including children in making decisions and receiving assistance. Children should be able to talk with their parents about divorce or separation. Here are some suggestions to talk to your children about the changes divorce or separation brings.

Simple is best

Your child does not have to know everything. However, they have the right to know about what’s going on, and who’s going to be taking charge of them. They should also be confident that things will be okay again.

It is best to communicate in a clear, straightforward, and honest language that your child will understand. For example, “We are in love with you, and we’ll take good care of you. We’ve determined that it’s well for us as a family to have Dad and I live separately.”

Make sure you take your time when answering difficult questions

Sometimes, you don’t know the answer to an unanswerable question, so allow yourself to think. Assure your child that you’ll come back to them. It is possible to say, “I do not know at this moment. The truth is that your Dad, as well as I, are trying to figure it out. However, I am sure that you’ll have time with us both”.

If your child is asking you tough questions regarding their other parent, encourage them to speak to their parent directly. You can also inform them that your child may have asked about concerns.

Pay attention to your child’s needs

There could be a specific concern that is behind your child’s question. For instance, if a child is asking when Mum will return, they are worried about when they’ll meet with Mum. Reassure them using simple phrases that let them know that you’re listening. For example, “It’s like you’re concerned about when you’ll be able to see your mother. It’s still a must to visit Mum on a regular basis. I’m sure that’s vital in your life.” It’s important to assure your child that both you and their other parent are there for them.

Keep the conversation in the air

Your child could constantly be thinking about this topic. Be prepared to answer more than one question. If you schedule an established time for talking, it can provide your child an opportunity to share their concerns. It might be during the time your child comes back from school, while you eat dinner with your family. Prior to taking a reading break, or even while you’re on the road. It is also a good idea to use this regularly scheduled time to inform the child to be aware of any new developments.

Talk about your feelings

Your child is likely to feel unhappy, angry, or sad. This is fine and could be beneficial. If your child can see your expression of emotions in a peaceful and healthy manner, they’ll understand that it’s okay. It’s also essential to inform your child that you care about them and that everything will improve.

When your child expresses emotions, listen attentively. This will give you and your child the opportunity to investigate and comprehend their emotions more clearly. It is possible to say things like, “I can see that you’re angry, and I can understand why it is causing you to feel sad”. It may be hard to understand your child’s feelings of hurt or sadness, particularly if you’re struggling with similar emotions. But your child should communicate, and you’ll better understand the needs of your child by listening.

You can suggest someone else speak to

Sometimes, children are more comfortable discussing their thoughts and feelings with someone other than their parents. Your child may be encouraged to speak to a trusted adult – such as a family member or a teacher. If they will likely be speaking with your child, it’s best to request not to be negative about the other parent.

Routines that children can easily remember following divorce or separation

Routines can help children feel secure, at ease, secure and confident, So keeping a routine can help your child deal with transitions like separation or divorce. Make sure you can identify the small things that matter to your child, such as reading books before bed. Inform your child that these habits will never change. If you are able, you can avoid changing major things such as your child’s school.

It is also important to keep routines. How you wake your child up or the words you speak to them before bed are comforting routines. You are able to create new routines or alter rituals, too. It could be necessary in the event of changes in childcare plans or income. When your kid is of a certain age, you can explore establishing new routines.

Children’s decision-making after divorce or separation

If you are to involve your child in day-to-day decisions, it’ll make them feel in control of their life. For children who are older, it is crucial to pay attention and inform them that their opinion is important. It’s important not to burden kids of any age with huge choices, particularly ones which make them feel trapped.

Family time is a great way to bond with your children

Have a moment to enjoy some amusement, even if it’s an instant hug or playing some music and dancing. It’s also a good idea to take a few actions at the occasion like eating a meal as a picnic at the local park. Let the teachers at your child’s preschool, or school be aware of the situation. They’ll be able to spot any changes in your child’s behavior and could offer alternative support options, including school counselors.

If you’re concerned about your preschooler’s or school-age child’s mental health, or your child’s preteen or teenage mental health, speak to your GP whenever you can. They will be able to help you locate other specialists who can assist, including psychologists in your area.

About the Author: Emma Flores

Emma Flores is lucky enough to turn her interests into a job. Editor and proofreader during work hours, as well as a freelance writer during weekends and a mother all the time. She is at her most in the morning, with headphones on. Emma is working with StudyCrumb to provide tips for making academic papers that are of high-quality standards.