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Making shared child custody arrangements easier for the kids

There are many important issues than can arise in connection to a divorce. One such issue is child custody. What ultimately happens in regards to the issue of child custody can be very impactful on all of the parties involved, including the children of the divorcing couple.

There are many different types of child custody arrangements. One type of child custody arrangement that has been becoming increasingly common in recent years are shared custody arrangements (arrangements in which the divorcing parents split physical custody of the children, with the residency of the children changing periodically).

Shared child custody arrangements can give rise to some challenges. Children sometimes have trouble adjusting to the change from living at one house with both parents to now living at two houses in which only one of the parents is present in each.

Recently, an article on the Huffington Post's website gave some suggestions as to how divorced parents can help make shared custody arrangements easier for their children.

One of the things the article suggested was to take steps to make the children feel connected to both of the parents regardless of which of the parent's homes they happen to be staying in at a given time. Examples the article gave of ways to do this included: using communication technologies like text messaging, email and Skype so that a child can have contact with a parent when they are at the other parent's home and for divorced parents to live close to one another if plausible.

Another thing the article suggested was to set clear schedules for the kids when it comes to when the place they will be staying will alternate from one parent's house to the other's. Letting the kids know ahead of time when such alternations will occur can help reduce the uncertainty a child might feel in connection to a shared child custody arrangement. The article also, however, noted that it is important for parents to be mindful that the children's needs sometimes may require changes to be made to the child custody schedule and that parents should be flexible when such needs arise.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Part Time Presence, Full Time Parent," Marie Hartwell-Walker, Feb. 7, 2013

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