Divorced parents in California who have a difficult relationship with one another might worry that the conflict will seriously hurt the children. However, a new study found that a child’s relationship with each parent is more important after a divorce.
The researchers, who divided parental relationships into moderately engaged, conflicted and cooperative, found that how well the parents got along did not have much impact on the child. Frequency of communication was much more significant to the kid’s relationship with the parent. When a child only communicated once a month or less with a parent, that parent reported having less knowledge of the child.
One way for parents to have more contact with a child after divorce is through texting or social media, such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Unlike some parents, children see these as great ways to interact, and it may even be their preferred method of communication. For kids who have their own devices, such as a phone or tablet, one parent can make contact without involving the other parent. This removes what can be a barrier for some parents that prevents them from calling the child on the phone, and it keeps the child from being caught in the middle between the parents.
With the help of a lawyer, there are a variety of custody and visitation arrangements parents might agree to. Some parents may think visitation means only seeing the child every other weekend, but there can be generous visitation schedules that allow the child almost equal time with the custodial and noncustodial parents. Exes might also agree to share physical custody. Older children may want to participate in creating the schedule for custody and visitation, which may include plans for holidays and vacations.