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Standards that can help children during divorce

When a relationship comes to an end, if there are children involved, the divorce can be quite hard for them. This is true for same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples alike. Below are a few standards that can be used to help kids at this time.

1. Remember that the other parent also has rights regarding the kids, and be sure to support and uphold those rights.

2. Allow children to keep relationships with both parents. This means not doing anything to limit the involvement of your ex in the kids' lives. This may be hard for you in such an emotional situation, but it is best for the children.

3. Take your time with the breakup. Do not make rash, emotional decisions. Instead, clearly think through every decision and what it's going to mean for everyone involved.

4. Keep providing for the child and supporting him or her. If you have custody, you will likely provide some sort of support almost every single day. Even if you don't, though, there are many ways you can still support your child -- including the financial side -- and help his or her growth and development.

5. Focus on consistency. The end goal should be to make sure that life changes as little as possible for the child, even when you and your spouse break up. All decisions -- like where to live -- can be based around this ideal.

This can be hard to do, and it's important to know all of the legal options you have in Massachusetts. Some of them, such as setting up a parenting plan, can provide written instructions that work toward the goals listed above.

Source: GLAD, "Protecting Families: Standards for LGBT Families," accessed May 26, 2016

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