As soon as divorce papers are served, minor children from a marriage may feel caught in the middle of their parents' disputes. Although some divorcing spouses in Pennsylvania are able to reach an agreement on child custody arrangements by themselves, many are not. If the parents cannot agree, child custody has to be decided by the court. Once the court issues its custody order, the court expects the parents will make the custody arrangements work for the benefit of their children.
Unfortunately, there are some common mistakes divorced parents make with regard to parenting. One of these is fighting in front of their children. This creates considerable anxiety and insecurity for children. If arguments are unavoidable, parents should discuss their differences when the children are not present. Another common error is asking children to choose sides. No child should be expected to choose one parent over the other; both parents play important roles in their children's upbringing. If parents expect them to choose sides, children can end up feeling responsible for the end of their parents' marriage.
Children should also be spared the unpleasant details of custody disputes and other divorce-related issues. Additionally, parents should never involve their children in adult issues just to gain their emotional support and sympathy.
In the end, children benefit most from sound child custody arrangements and parents who are willing to work together to make decisions in the best interests of their children. If the parents can set aside their personal feelings about each other, they can work together and make custody agreements work. For parents who need help, legal guidance is available to help them make the right decisions.
Source: Ktar.com, "10 biggest mistakes in post-divorce parenting," Rosalind Sedacca, Feb. 11, 2015