Post-divorce parenting

When couples in Alaska divorce, emotions often run high. This is especially true when the spouses have minor children and must now negotiate issues such as child support and custody. In most cases, both mothers and fathers are committed to doing what is best for the children, even if the divorce has led to resentment.

For many parents, divorce is a good time to reassess the image they have of their soon-to-be former spouse. Unless abuse has been a factor in the relationship, one could benefit from being able to appreciate their former spouse as a parent. This means understanding and prioritizing the importance of the relationship between the child and the other parent.

Protecting the child-parent relationship also requires that the adults learn to get along. This not only means being kind to each other in front of the children but also not speaking disrespectfully about the other parent when they aren't present. While it's not unusual for spouses to have residual resentments after divorce, these are best dealt with by talking with a counselor.

When parents cultivate a positive attitude toward each other, they are better able to develop and maintain a parenting plan that will benefit the kids. Keep in mind that scheduled visitation is in many cases only a guideline. Over time, the needs of both parents and children may change. This could require a change in expected visitation days, vacation and holidays.

Parents who are considering divorce may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer could review the client's situation and make recommendations regarding custody arrangements, parenting plans and support issues.

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