Divorce can be difficult for children to process. No matter the age of the children, they hav grown accustomed to a two-parent household and expect things to remain that way. The separation of parents may be hard on children, both mentally and emotionally. These children are not used to shuffling back and forth between households or splitting time between parents.
As a parent, you will do everything you can to make the transition easier, but sometimes things are beyond your control. A child may have a hard time letting go and outright refuse to see their other parent. This puts the you in a precarious position as the custodial parent. You do not want to disrupt your child’s time with their other parent but you do want to ensure that there is nothing wrong.
Typically, visitation is dependent on a court order. Couples may agree to joint or partial custody agreements. When a court order is in place, it is usually mandatory for a child to visit the parent at that appointed time. Of course, if parental parties have an amicable relationship, they may be flexible with the custody agreement. However, some structure is important to avoid confusing the child.
The Adjustment Phase
If the child knows when they are scheduled to visit the other parent and there is still pushback, you may want to delve deeper into the problem.
Children notice body language cues much easier than most people realize. Their anxiety regarding leaving with the other parent may be a projection of what you are feeling. If your child notices that you are sad or anxious every time they leave, they may become uncomfortable. Children do not like seeing their parents upset and the child may feel like they are upsetting you every time they leave with the other parent. In response to this perceived slight, they will begin to pull away from the other parent and get upset when you expect them to leave.
Another reason for your child’s behavior can also be a response to the custody agreement. The child could be having a very difficult time splitting time between two parents. They are used to spending time with both parents in the same house. This new experience is tough for them and they may act out in the hopes that you two will try to spend time with each other.
One of the biggest reasons for a child’s discomfort also has to do with adapting to change. They may not feel comfortable going to a new home with the other parent. Moving is dfficult for children and they feel like they are moving every time they go over to the other parent’s home. They must pack a bag, use a bathroom they are not familiar with, travel to another area, and these things may all trigger separation anxiety.
The best way to deal with the child’s discomfort is to seek the help of a therapist and an experience divorce lawyer. The therapist will help the child work through their issues and the lawyer will help you draft a custody agreement that works for all three of you.
Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Richard C. Klein, P.A. Provide Support When Dealing with Child Custody Issues
If your child is having trouble with the current custody agreement, do not hesitate to call the Law Office of Richard C. Klein to schedule your consultation with an experienced and highly skilled Cherry Hill divorce attorney by calling (856) 544-9155 or contact us online. Our office is located in Marlton, New Jersey, allowing us to serve clients throughout South Jersey.