Parents in North Carolina who are divorced may help their children adjust by keeping lines of communication open. According to a new study, the relationship a child has with each divorced parent is much more important than the relationship the parents have with each other.
The study, which examined nearly 400 parents and children who were aged 10 to 18, classified parents based on how cooperative they were with one another. Researchers also identified several aspects of the relationship between parents and children, including parents' knowledge about their children, the consistency of discipline and the closeness of relationships. When children and their parents communicated just once a month or less, it led to a decrease in the parents' knowledge about their children.
According to experts, children often benefit from communication with their parents via texting or social media. Parents might not think of this as significant contact, but for children, it can represent a high-quality interaction. Social media also allows parents to communicate directly with children who have their own phones, laptops or tablets. In fact, social media may increase communication if the co-parenting relationship is difficult.
Negotiating child custody and visitation in a divorce can be difficult and emotional even when parents do not have a particularly contentious relationship. In some cases, mediation will help parents reach a resolution. They may want to negotiate an agreement for custody and visitation that includes a plan for vacations and holidays. Later, if significant life changes mean parents need a change to the custody or support agreement, they can request a modification. A lawyer could help with this process.