Making the Best of It
Key Points
  • Do not let the children be a reminder of a failed marriage. This is the challenge many parents face and is often the route of most emotional and relationship harm.
  • A divorce is a separation emotionally as well as legally. To divorce without children permits for the opportunity of a cleaner break, but with children not so much.
  • Children deal with the divorce in phases, much the same way the parents do. Often times these phases are shared, but not necessarily at the same time.

When it comes to the children, divorce does not come with a how-to manual. Ending a marriage with children means the spouses face the new and perplexing reality of divorced parenting. They are no longer spouses, no longer husband and wife, but still parents who must raise the children of the marriage.

For most parents, the children remain the visible reminders of all the hope and love that a man and woman brought to the marriage. That love and hope often intensify in the wake of the collapse of the marriage because guilt and remorse, sadness and sorrow infiltrate the lives of the separating couple.

When a childless marriage ends, the two spouses can make a clean break that parents cannot. Parents remain parents for life, a fact that some divorcing spouses learn only after the fact.

If parenting within the marriage is, as one writer put it, "the toughest job you'll ever love," divorced parenting makes for challenges, pitfalls and traps that can test the most diligent and loving of parents. In most cases, divorce thrusts the mother into the role of custodial parent who has physical possession of the children, and it places the father, who is the noncustodial parent, into the position of the parent who visits his child. This routine realigns the dynamics of family life since both parents are not together to mutually reinforce each other. In an intact family, two parents present make for a whole that is greater than the sum of two parents apart.

Ending a marriage is a process that happens over a period of time when one or both spouses becomes convinced that the status quo is intolerable or at least not working. Parents and children move (or are moved) through what has been termed "the phases of divorce": the emotional divorce, which one spouse separates from the other emotionally; the legal divorce, when the couple part and begin new separate lives; the economic divorce, which divides the marital estate; the co-parenting divorce, where the spouses come to terms with the demands of divorced parenting; the community divorce, where the social dislocations of divorce strip the couple of many of their married friends; and the psychic divorce, where the former married adjust to being single people.

"Some of these phases may take several years to complete, and some people never finish certain phases. The children have to process through each stage right along with their parents." In other words, some of these phases happen simultaneously, and some spouses never pass through them at all. For example, some spouses struggle with the psychic divorce, which can make the co-parenting divorce particularly difficult.

Useful Online Tools

Suggested Reading
How to Win Child Custody How to Win Child Custody
This is not your basic child custody book like most you will find in a bookstore. This book is for people who are in the middle of a custody dispute or feel as though there is a possibility of one in the future. This is a resource for those parents who are fighting for their rights and/or custody of their children.

Download Now

Recent Related Blog Posts
    All Child Custody Blog Posts

Related Article Archives
Child Support
Counseling Issues
Custody & Visitation
Parental Alienation
Tax Aspects
    All Article Archives

Related Categories
Child Relocation
Collect & Paying Child Support
Divorce & Pets
Divorce Laws
Grandparent Rights
Parental Alienation
Parenting Through Divorce
Paternity Issues
    All Categories
Related Forums
Child Custody
Child Removal
Child Support
Domestic Abuse
Grandparent Rights
Helping Children
Stepfamily Issues
    All Forums

Resources & Tools

Bookstore Promotion Discount

Start Your Divorce Online Start Your Divorce
Several Options to Get Started Today.
Divorce Tools Online Divorce Tools
Keeping it Simple to Get the Job Done.
Divorce Downloads Download Center
Instantly Download Books, Guides & Forms.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Books
Over 100 of the Best Divorce & Custody Books.
Negotiate Online Negotiate Online
Settle your Divorce and Save.
Custody and Support Tracking Custody Scheduling
Make Sure You Document Everything.
INNOCENT VICTIMS – Typically, children engage in behaviors to help them feel secure. One of the most common notions that torment the children of divorce is that they have caused the conflict between their mother and father. Many children assume the responsibility for bringing their parents back together, sometimes by sacrificing themselves.
Start Divorce
Custody Scheduling and Tracking

Children In Between - Online Parenting Class

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:


Featured Book How to Win Child Custody

How to Win Child Custody

How to Win Child Custody


Featured Download Parent's Ability and Willingness to Cooperate: The Friendly Parent Doctrine, As a Most Important Factor in Recent Child Custody Cases

Parent's Ability and Willingness to Cooperate: The Friendly Parent Doctrine, As a Most Important Factor in Recent Child Custody Cases

Parent's Ability and Willingness to Cooperate: The Friendly Parent Doctrine, As a Most Important Factor in Recent Child Custody Cases

Guarantee Official PayPal Seal Facebook Twitter Versign Secure Site