In a Virginia divorce, deciding child custody and ensuring that the transition goes as smoothly as possible are a vital part of the process. It can be easy to get caught up in the disputes that led to the end of the marriage and forget about the child’s best interests. Children should be aware of the changes and assured of their parents’ care during and after the divorce.

To ensure that the children adapt to the new circumstances, there are certain points to remember. Children might be under the impression that they need to pick one parent over the other. They must know that this is unnecessary and each parent can be loved separately. Holidays and special occasions can be complicated because both parents will want to share these days with the child. If possible, splitting the days is beneficial. Letting one parent have the child for a birthday and the other parent have the child for a holiday like Thanksgiving can maintain good relations. Parents who are on reasonable terms can still enjoy various events as a family. Being cordial can go a long way toward a healthy relationship.

It is imperative to tell the children that they are not at fault for the divorce. In some cases, it can be helpful to shield the child from the divorce entirely until the process is completed. When the child is having a disagreement with a parent, the other parent can be tempted to say negative things. However, simply helping with the situation without letting acrimony from the marriage enter the equation is positive.

Parents should maintain a set of rules that the child must follow. Agreeing about the rules can avoid confusion and preventable discord. As part of dealing with child custody, it may be wise to have legal advice. A firm experienced in family law may help a parent understand their options.