Battling over the family home and alimony is not uncommon during divorce proceedings in New York. However, for parents with young children, dealing with the ins and outs of child custody and visitation can be particularly challenging. They may especially be concerned about protecting their children emotionally during such a tumultuous time. Here are a couple of steps they can take to achieve this during the marital breakup process.

First, the parents may want to develop a parenting plan that allows both of them to be with the children often. If the parents live about 15 to 20 minutes apart, this is feasible to do long term. This is an important move post divorce because it can help the children to feel more mentally stable. Also, they are less likely to feel resentment toward the parent who does not live with them because they can see this parent and still see their friends or participate in their favorite extracurricular activities.

Also, it would be beneficial for both parties to agree not to talk badly about each other when communicating with their children. In the same way, they should ideally not be using body language that suggests something bad about the other parent. If they mistreat each other, the children may end up losing their feelings of intimacy with the parents.

If the parents can come up with a parenting plan that meets both of their needs and reflects the children’s best interests with regard to child custody and visitation, this is the ideal situation during divorce. Of course, this is not always possible, in which case the parents must rely on a judge to decide for them how to handle child custody. In either scenario, an attorney can help the client to pursue a fair outcome that fulfills his or her wishes and also benefits the children in New York.