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Tips for parents helping children find stability after divorce

Georgia parents who are getting a divorce can help their children adjust by disrupting their routine as little as possible. If the kids are going back and forth between households, parents can agree on a set of rules and consequences. A child should be allowed to stay in the same school if possible. Relationships with family members, such as cousins, can sometimes be a casualty in divorce, and parents should help children maintain those connections. They also shouldn't argue in front of their children.

Some parents are using an arrangement known as "nesting" or "birdnesting" to help their children adjust. This means parents take turns staying in the family home while the children remain there. When a parent is not in the home, he or she stays elsewhere, usually at a shared apartment. For nesting to work, people need to be able to afford the arrangement and have an amicable relationship.

Experts also say it is best if nesting does not last for more than three to six months. One reason is that it may put a strain on parents even if they get along well. Another is that it can eventually make children confused about whether their parents might be reconciling. Nesting for longer periods could even ratchet up anxiety for kids as they worry about what living in separate households will be like.

Divorcing individuals might be able to negotiate a custody and visitation agreement using mediation instead of going to court. One parent might also be required to pay child support to the other. Courts usually encourage people to try to work out most issues without going back to court. However, if one parent moves or loses his or her job, and there needs to be a significant change in the custody agreement or a modification in the child support agreement, returning to court might be necessary.

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