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Five child-focused approaches to divorce

You know that you want to put your kids first in your upcoming divorce, but you're just not sure exactly how you're going to do it.

Don't worry. The courts consider the children's best interests, and you can too. Here are five easy ways to do it.

1. Stay consistent.

Be there for the kids just like you were before. Give them support. You're still their parent, even if the marriage is dissolving.

2. Consider therapy.

If the children are struggling, talking to a therapist can help. Some experts say you shouldn't wait until the divorce is over. Kids may benefit from these sessions the entire time.

3. Focus on honesty.

Don't lie to the kids. Don't do it to slander your spouse or to hide the truth from them. Obviously, you should consider their ages and you don't have to tell them everything, but you should be honest.

4. Co-parent.

Your kids need both of you. That doesn't mean you have to be married. It just means you need to be there for them. Work on co-parenting and make it a priority to cooperate for the children's sake.

5. Give kids choices, not guilt.

Older children especially may want to make some choices about the biggest decisions, such as where they'll live. Don't shame them or guilt them into certain decisions that you want. Give them the freedom to choose and be happy.

A lot of it comes down to your mindset. You're already on the right track. Remember your own legal rights, but also remember to do what you can to put the kids first when it comes to custody agreements and parenting plans.

Source: Huffington Post, "The 18 Best Things You Can Do For Your Kids After Divorce," Brittany Wong, accessed Aug. 31, 2017

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