During the Pandemic, we have all been isolated and locked inside our homes. Children have been ripped from their sense of normalcy and routine. Now add in divorce. Suddenly, your child’s sense of safety and security is shaken to the core. What can you do if your child’s mental health is suffering and how may this impact your custody case?
First, talk to your child. You want your child to know that you are there for them and you support them in this time of incredible change.
Second, as children are about to re-enter school, be in touch with your child’s teachers and school counselors. Your child will spend a majority of their week in the classroom. If your child’s mental health is suffering throughout your divorce, the teacher will take notice and bring in the school’s counselor. Ask the teacher and school counselor to keep you informed of how your child is doing and for their input on how you can better support your son or daughter.
Third, put your child in mental health therapy. Being in therapy provides your child with additional support and resources to cope with the change that divorce brings. Also, hHaving a therapist involved provides the additional evidence you may need later on in your case. If your soon to be ex-spouse is not supporting your child’s therapy the judge will take this into consideration in the custody determination. Each parent’s knowledge and familiarity of the child and the child’s needs is a factor the judge considers when determining the best interest of the child for custody purposes. The judge will also consider each parent’s past performance and relative abilities for future performance of parenting responsibilities. Placing your child in therapy and supporting your child’s mental health may make all the difference in your child’s life and the outcome of your custody case.
To support your child’s mental health during your divorce remember to keep communication lines open with your child, be in contact with your child’s teachers and school counselors, and place your child in mental health counseling. Divorce is an altering life event for everyone involved, do everything you can to help your child through this transition.