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Divorce doesn't mean mothers and fathers will stop being parents

With all the intense emotions flowing during a divorce it is often difficult for separating spouses in Georgia to spend time together. The thought of seeing or talking with someone that cheated on you may be repulsive. Knowing that a spouse that broke your heart will be at a friend's birthday may be too much to handle. Even though there are emotional attachments that divorced or divorcing spouses have for each other, they will be unable to avoid each other if they have children together.

In a majority of Georgia child custody cases, parents will have to share custody of the children. Unless one parent can prove that the other is unfit, which is an extremely high burden, he or she will be granted joint custody and joint parenting time with the child's mother or father. This means that parents will have to be involved in each others' lives for years, even if they continue to have negative feelings associated with their exes.

One way to exacerbate these negative feelings is by failing to put the children first in the divorce. It can be difficult to treat a former spouse respectfully, but not doing so will just make it more difficult on the children. For example, being overly involved in how the children's mother or father parents is bound to make an acrimonious situation even worse.

Mothers and fathers are bound to parent their children differently and that will happen whether the parents are still together or long separated. It may be hard to trust that your former spouse is doing right by the children, but constantly hounding him or her conveys the message to the children that their other parent is incapable of taking care of them. Ultimately, this will do more harm to the children than good.

Divorce and child custody issues are extremely complex, in part because of the tremendous emotions attached to them, but by putting the children first, divorcing parents may be able to make the best of a stressful situation.

Source: The Huffington Post, "You May Be Divorced, But You're Still a Family," Virginia Gilbert, Aug. 3, 2012

To learn more about mothers' and fathers' rights and responsibilities, please visit our child custody page.

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law
506 Roswell Street SE, Suite 240
Marietta, GA 30060

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