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Child custody and visitation: Things to discuss with your children

When you first tell your children about your divorce, they're likely to have concerns about the impact on their future. However, depending on their age, they may quickly put this out of their mind.

As things change down the line, it's important that you keep your children informed as to how child custody and visitation will affect them. Here are some things you should discuss:

  • Where your children will live: For example, if you have physical custody of your children, let them know that they'll be sleeping in the same house as you, most of the time. This is also a good opportunity to discuss where you'll live, such as if your ex got the family house in the divorce.
  • Visitation rights: Sticking with the example above, your ex may have visitation rights with your children. Explain this to the kids, letting them know what the schedule looks like.
  • The impact on their life: This can include everything from where they go to school to how much time they have for their friends on the weekends. Not only should you discuss the potential impact on their life, but make it clear to them that you want what's best for them. Keep an open mind regarding their wants and needs.

When it comes to child custody and visitation, it's critical that you and your ex are on the same page. And that's why you created a parenting plan and visitation schedule during the divorce process.

If your ex continually violates court orders, such as by keeping your children past their scheduled visit time, look into your legal rights for requesting a modification.

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