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Advice for parents planning to divorce during the winter

Every January, unhappy husbands and wives around the country flock to divorce attorneys with hopes of ending a marriage. For many with minor-aged children, matters related to child custody, visitation and child support top the list of divorce-related concerns. While there is no right or wrong time to file for divorce, parents who choose to file during the winter months face challenges associated with doing so mid-school year.

Children crave routine and predictability and may experience feelings of fear and anxiety when things suddenly change. For a child, divorce poses many unknowns that can ultimately result in a child experiencing intense emotions such as anger, fear, sadness and confusion. When it comes to divorce, it may not be possible to avoid changes to a child's life altogether; however, parents would be wise to take steps to minimize the negative effects of any changes.

In the wake of a divorce, one or both parents may move out of a family home and relocate. When possible, it's often best for parents to make choices with regard to living arrangements that allow a child to remain in the same school. A child who is forced to adjust to both the divorce of his or her parents and a new school will likely have a more difficult time. 

In addition to making attempts to maintain a child's daily routines and sense of normalcy, divorced parents should also be careful in how they approach and discuss their divorce. Going through a divorce is often difficult and many individuals may feel angry and resentful towards an ex-spouse. When a child is involved, however, it's important to set negative feelings and thoughts aside and attempt to maintain a civil and respectful relationship with an ex-spouse, particularly in a child's presence.

Minnesota parents who are contemplating or going through a divorce likely have questions and concerns about matters related to child custody and child support. An attorney who handles divorce and family law matters can answer questions and help ensure that a child’s best interests are protected.

Source: The Huffington Post, "January Divorces Pose Special Challenges for Children," Rosalind Sedacca, Jan. 21, 2014

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