For children, even when the divorce is a benefit for their lives overall — their parents are happier not being married, for instance, keeping the children from a high-conflict living situation — it can still be emotionally difficult to adjust. Parents need to be aware of this and do what they can to make this adjustment period easier.

One way to do it is by maintaining the routines that the children are used to. This limits the amount of change they actively feel on a daily basis. Remember, the divorce is already a major change. If the child also has to adjust to a new school and make new friends, it becomes very difficult. Keeping the child in the same routine of attending the same school can help.

This is just one example. Other routines may include things like eating dinner as a family or going to bed at a specific time. When trying to keep these routines intact, divorced parents need to communicate with one another and keep things the same within both homes.

Again, you want to remember that the children may already have been forced to move out of the home they were used to. With custody split between their parents, they have two new living spaces. That change takes a mental and emotional toll. If the routines within those spaces are similar, though, the consistency can be comforting.

Putting the children first is a key part of divorce, and it’s why the court always considers the children’s best interests. Parents need to know what legal options they have to pursue this same goal.