Parents need to understand that the court is not equipped to handle the effects of a divorce upon a child. Families should consider outside resources to assist children with the change in their family dynamics, for which they did not ask for. Referrals should be made to assist the children with their relationship with their divorcing parents.

Children of all ages need a resource to address their views to assist them to develop their skills, resolve their own disputes, and have someone to talk to in a safe neutral environment. In my opinion the effects of divorce upon children are permanent. It is the responsibility of the divorcing parents to help the children grow to be mentally health, stable, independent persons in spite of their parents’ actions.

The 2008 changes to the Shared Parental Responsibility Act require a parenting plan to be developed in every divorce case involving minor children. A parenting plan is a document created to govern the relationship between the parents and the children. There are two components: decisions about the upbringing of the children, and a timesharing schedule. The parenting plan must be developed and agreed to by the parents, and approved by the court. If the parents cannot agree upon a parenting plan, then the parenting plan will be established by the court at trial.

Child support is the responsibility of both parents. Typically, child support is thought of as one parent paying the other parent money for the child. This is not correct. The calculation of child support will determine that amount that each parent will be required to pay for the support of the child.