Whenever Minnesota parents of young children decide to end their marriage, both parties generally agree to put the children first. Unfortunately, in many instances, this resolve goes by the wayside when they start to squabble over the financial and custodial issues associated with breaking up a family. However, this doesn’t always have to be the case, and establishing a few ground rules can go a long way in creating an amicable divorce with minimal impact on the children.
First, parents should expect their partner to make mistakes, but should always give the benefit of the doubt that it was an honest one and not a character flaw or attempt to irritate the other parent. A positive attitude can help reduce the stress associated with the divorce and can help create a trusting co-parenting relationship. It is also important that the parents put their children’s interests before their own and agree to co-parent in a way that ensures the children maintain an involved and loving relationship with both parents.
To minimize disagreements, it is important for the parents to put their custodial and visitation agreement in writing. This written child custody plan will help establish expectations for everyone. The written plan should address specifics about visitation schedules, including rules and discipline and when and how the parties can introduce the children to the parent’s love interests. The agreement should also address how any major decisions, such as medical or educational needs, will be made. The parties should schedule periodic meetings to discuss how the agreement is working and whether any changes or modifications need to be made.
Divorce is considered one of life’s major stresses. The financial and emotional impact may be significant, particularly if there are children involved. Family law attorneys may be helpful in helping their clients end their marriages in a way that is emotionally and economically beneficial to them and their children.