Parents in Dallas who are either considering divorce or who have divorced are likely to share an overarching concern: how the split will affect their children. The good news is that children can and often do continue to thrive in their new environment, and there are some signs parents can look for to see how the children are doing. There are also some things parents can do to try to help minimize the impact on the children.

One sign to look for is how social a child is being. Withdrawal from friends, sports and other activities may be a sign that a parent may want to check in with the child, but keeping active and social are usually signs of a normal child. Success in school is also a marker of a child who is adapting well, who is able to meet homework deadlines and is not having discipline problems.

Also, parents should not mistake talking about the divorce — even in a negative way — as a bad sign. It is healthy for a child to express feelings, even if those feelings are that the parents are being foolish. Silence and unwillingness to discuss the divorce, on the other hand, may be signs of depression. A willingness to go back to favorite places from before the divorce, like restaurants or parks, is also a good sign.

Parents who want to make the divorce as painless as possible for their children, and who are able to talk and work through the issues in their divorce with respect and honesty, may find that collaborative law is an approach worth considering. Collaborative law avoids the inherent conflict of a traditional litigated divorce. It also allows parents to continue in a spirit of cooperation when revisiting child custody arrangements, acknowledging that sometimes, for legitimate reasons, it is necessary to seek a custody agreement modification.

Collaborative law is not for everyone, however, and sometimes a litigated divorce seeking sole custody is actually in a child’s best interests(when a parent is abusive, for example, or perhaps struggles with substance abuse). But Dallas parents dealing with child custody issues should be aware that they do have multiple legal options and approaches available.

Source: Huffington Post, “10 Signs Your Kid Is Adjusting Well To The Divorce,” Wendi Schuller, July 20, 2014