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Concentrating on children’s best interests may create peace between divorced parents

Whether you live in Birmingham or elsewhere, going through a divorce can be difficult. However, couples with children often face additional challenges. That’s because determining child custody can be tough. Even after child custody arrangements have been determined, former spouses may have a difficult time communicating with one another.

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, parents should think about their children’s best interests as they are sorting out custody matters. They should also try to avoid fighting with their former spouse before and after a divorce. In fact, creating an amicable relationship with a former spouse may help couples become better parents in the end.

“Conflict within a marriage or after a divorce is the most harmful thing parents can do for their children’s development,” a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri said.

Research shows that parents who focus on their children rather than their relationship problems tend to have less conflict with their former spouses.

In a study of 20 women, about half had good relationships with their former partners. The other half had contentious relationships. Many of the women with amicable relationships with their former spouses, however, reported that it had not always been that way. They fought with the other parent, but after seeing how it negatively affected their children they decided to shift their focus. They began concentrating on their children and their needs rather than on their problematic relationship with their former spouse.

In the end, their focus on their children helped them create a more positive relationship with the other parent.

Divorce and child custody matters are not easy to deal with. However, both children and parents are likely to benefit from a peaceful environment.

Source: Psych Central News, “Focus on Kids Eases Conflict for Divorced Parents,” Janet Wood, Aug. 16, 2012