You are definitely not the only Arizona parent to divorce in 2018, nor will you likely be the last. Like most good parents, your children’s best interests are one of your highest priorities, and you worked hard to come up with a fair and agreeable co-parenting plan that provides your kids with ample amounts of time with both of their parents. You expect to encounter other challenges as well, however, as you and your kids adapt to a new lifestyle.

It’s a good thing that spouses can custom-design their post-divorce parenting plans to fit their immediate needs and their long-term family goals. It is also a good thing that, even when the court issues an order regarding custody, visitation or support, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is permanent. You can seek modification, as necessary. If you know where to seek support, you and your children can obtain all the help you need to move toward a new, successful future.

The way you and your ex interact, matters

If your children witness you and their other parent doing your best to get along for their sake, it may be a source of comfort and encouragement as they learn to live in a household that no longer contains their entire family all together. On the other hand, if you and your ex are constantly fighting or you speak negatively of one another in front of your kids, it can negatively affect your children’s ability to cope.

Reach out for support to keep stress levels low

Many of the issues that led to your divorce may still be fresh in your mind; in fact, you might still be dealing with some of the problems you had in your marriage. While it’s natural that you want to support your kids as much as you can, it’s equally important that you yourself seek support for any emotional, financial, family or legal issues that arise. If your children see their parent asking for help, they are more likely to do so as well.

Know the difference between normal and not normal      

It’s understandable that your kids will experience a wide range of emotions as they come to terms with your divorce. One child might regress, and another may become introverted or rebellious. By keeping a close watch on your children, you can get a feel for how they’re doing. If you see them acting in ways that suggest they are really struggling, you can tap into local counseling resources to help. Sometimes, talking with someone outside the family is a gateway to healing.

Divorce does not have to ruin family life

If you tell your kids often that you love them and want to be there for them to share their feelings, they’ll know they can come to you to talk without worrying that what they have to say might upset you. Life isn’t perfect, and there is no guarantee that you won’t need the court’s intervention at some point if a particular legal problem arises that you do not feel equipped to handle on your own. With a strong support system in place, you and your kids can work together to get life back on track.

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