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What is a child-centered divorce?

The month of January was National Child-Centered Divorce Awareness Month.

For many years now, January has been called “divorce month,” since it is consistently one of the most common months for spouses to separate. However, families and family courts also increased their focus on children during divorce in recent years, since many research studies report that divorce can have a negative impact on children.

The combination of these facts could have led to increased awareness about child-centered divorces, but what does it mean to pursue such a divorce?

Child-centered divorces put the kids first

A child-centered divorce is exactly what it sounds like. In this type of divorce, parents:

  • Remain mindful of their children’s needs and best interests;
  • Help children navigate their divorce and ease their fears; and
  • Set a positive example for their children in the long run.

This can be beneficial for the whole family and help maintain a healthy relationship between parent and child – and possibly even both parents.

How do parents approach a child-centered divorce?

Essentially, parents should ensure they keep their children at the front of their minds throughout the separation and divorce proceedings to keep their divorce child-centered. They can do this by:

  • Considering the situation from their child’s point of view;
  • Taking careful measures to reduce and even eliminate disputes;
  • Focusing on co-parenting effectively; and
  • Reassuring children that they are loved.

Approaching a divorce through mediation can also help keep the divorce child-centered. Mediation allows parents to have more control over the decisions that affect their families, as well as more power to negotiate fair solutions for the future. It also reduces the pressure on children as they work through the changes divorce can bring.