Putting Your Children First: the Lowdown on Child-Centered Divorce

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When parents divorce, there is the potential for high emotion, conflict and confusion as they work through the painful process of dividing households. Amidst the fights about who gets the beach house, and who gets that painting in the foyer, and whether or not there should be alimony, the kids are waiting for their parents to recognize how much all of the drama is upsetting the order in their lives. Both parents love their children, but they are often so busy fighting with one another that their children often end up simply going along for the ride in their parents’ crazy divorce.

There is another way that parents can avoid having their children become casualties of their dysfunctional divorce. There is an approach called Child-Centered Divorce which seeks to put the welfare of the children first in the divorce process. Roslind Sedacca, CCT, is the author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children – with Love! and founder of the Child Centered Divorce Network. She is a divorce and parenting mentor who guides parents through the dissolution process and toward developing successful co-parenting relationships with their former spouses. Sedacca says, “I believe that it is not divorce itself that negatively affects our children. It is the parent’s approach to divorce that determines whether their children will be angry, insecure, frightened or in other ways emotionally scarred from the divorce experience.” Sedacca encourages divorcing parents to keep their children’s needs in mind and to do whatever they can to prevent unnecessary difficulty for them while they sort through the issues in their divorce.

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) also released a guidebook on child centered divorce in September 2014 called, AAML Child Centered Residential Guidelines, which offers divorcing parents a framework for focusing on the needs of the children during divorce and then later in the co-parenting relationship.

Child centered divorce is about creating parenting and visitation schedules that work for their children and their family, how to make the most of the time that the child spends with each parent and how to thoughtfully manage the transitions between the two households. Taking a moment to take your child’s needs under advisement before making any big decisions would be a priceless gift for them.

At Cynthia H. Clark & Associates, LLC, we help to guide our clients through the divorce process, and we help our clients make sure that their children’s needs are taken into consideration. Our knowledgeable divorce attorneys offer skilled, compassionate legal support for people throughout Maryland, during a challenging time for your family. Please contact us to reserve a consultation at our Annapolis office location to discuss your case.