Divorce, kids and custody: 3 tips to set your kids up for success

Getting a divorce is difficult for everyone. It is difficult for the couple, it is difficult for the kids, and it can even be difficult for the pets. Thankfully, there are a few proactive steps you can take to set yourself up for success after a divorce is finalized.

Three tips that apply specifically to setting children of parents that are going through a divorce up for a successful transition include:

  • Considering the children's basic needs.
  • Making an effort to act cordially.
  • Communicating.

Below is additional information on how to apply these steps to help better ensure the children transition into their new environments successfully.

Take the children's basic needs into account

It is important to take the children's basic needs into account when formulating a custody agreement. A recent article in The Washington Post discussed this point. It puts these needs into a pyramid format, with the most important of needs composing the foundation and the least important making up the point of the pyramid.

According to this set-up, the most important need to meet with children is the need for survival and safety. Children must first and foremost know that they are safe. Next, their psychological needs must be met. This includes acting as a loving parent. Boundaries must be set, but they should be viewed as fair. Finally, the parents should attempt to ensure that both parents have a good relationship with the child.

Make an effort to act cordially

It is important to act cordially when it comes to interactions with or discussions about your ex-spouse. You do not have to be best friends with your ex. You do not even have to get along. However, unless there are concerns of abuse, it is generally best for parents of the children to at least have a cordial, business-like relationship.


If possible, take the time to communicate with the other parent. This can be done a number of different ways. Find the way that works best for your situation and apply it. Share information that pertains to the kids. Update each other on recent doctor's appointments, school happenings and upcoming recitals or games.