More than 40 percent of first marriages end in divorce, and the numbers are even greater for second and third marriages at 60 and 73 percent. Research shows that almost one-third of marriages that end in divorce include minor children, but there are many things estranged Tennessee parents can do to help their children adjust to the situation. Unless there are issues such as abuse, children should have the opportunity to build a relationship with both parents.
It is important for parents to minimize conflict between one another in front of their children and to provide as much stability as possible for children during and after the divorce. Children may experience changes in their residence, school and friends among other things. If parents can ensure that there are as few of these changes as possible, it will help. How parents speak about one another is also important. They should avoid negative comments about one another or using the child as a messenger.
Parents should talk to their children about the divorce if the children need to discuss it. It is also important that children are able to maintain relationships with extended family such as grandparents and cousins. Some experts suggest counseling or a parenting class for parents.
It is best if parents are able to negotiate an agreement for child custody and visitation, but if they cannot, a judge will make a decision based on the best interests of the child. Parents will also need to draw up a parenting agreement that deals with potential areas of conflict. For example, one parent may want restrictions on when a child meets someone new that the other parent is dating. After the divorce, parents should attempt to resolve any conflicts rather than returning to court each time they have a disagreement.