When Louisiana parents of young children get a divorce, the custody and visitation arrangement is supposed to be made that is in the best interests of the child. Often, a court determines that this is having the child spend roughly equal time with each parent, but parents should consider whether this is the best arrangement.
Every child is different, but some children might feel that moving between their parents’ household regularly can lead to a feeling of instability. In some cases, one parent tends to do more caregiving than the other, and the child may prefer to live with that parent.
What parents can do
It is important that parents do not lean on their children to provide emotional support. This can cause children ongoing anxiety. Children may want to express some preference about the custody arrangement, but they should not be made to feel that they are choosing between their parents. However, they might prefer a situation in which they live mainly with one parent and have visitation with the other one. Parents may also find that their children have different needs and preferences at different ages.
Choosing the right child custody arrangement can be a challenge, but how parents deal with one another and with their children can make a difference. Reassuring their children that they are loved and allowing their voices to be heard without making them feel that they are burdened with the responsibility of choosing the arrangement can help. Taking steps to ensure that children feel they have a stable environment in both homes is also important. Parents should try to minimize children’s exposure to any conflict they are experiencing. Above all, when it comes to custody and making a parenting plan, parents need to prioritize their child’s needs above their own.