When parents in Virginia get a divorce, their children may struggle to adjust. However, parents can take steps to make the process less difficult. They should avoid engaging in conflict in front of their children, and they should try to change their routines as little as possible. They should keep children in the same school if they can and should try to agree on a set of expectations that will be similar in both their homes. Children may lose touch with cousins and other extended family members on one side during a divorce, so parents should encourage these relationships.
Some parents go a step further and use a technique called “nesting” to keep their children’s lives stable after a divorce. Nesting allows children and parents to stay in the family home, but the parents take turns living there. They also usually share another place nearby.
Experts say nesting can work well if parents only do it for a short time, but after three to six months, children might begin to think their parents are working on reconciling. Their anxiety might also grow around the uncertainty of what it will be like when the arrangement ends. Parents may start to run into conflict as a result of having to share living spaces.
Parents may need to work out an agreement for child custody and visitation during divorce, including how they will spend holidays and vacations. One parent might also pay child support to the other. While some parents come to an informal agreement about custody and support, they may still want to have their attorneys look over a written agreement that they submit to the court. This might protect the parent who receives child support in case the other parent does not adhere to the agreement.