Social Media Impact on Children of Divorce
Most people do not take marriage lightly. Despite the fact that many marriages end in divorce, we recognize that is often the last resort for couples. Nobody gets into marriage planning on separation, but that is often the best route forward.
However, when a couple has minor children together, the situation can become much more complicated and emotional. The Arizona family court system is designed to ensure that the best interests of the children are taken into account for each case of separation. This is often not an easy process.
Social Media Is Changing Things
There is no denying that children are often the ones left reeling emotionally in a divorce. Regardless of the age of children, they often think that it is their fault. However, researchers have shown that social media may be playing a role in keeping kids connected to their parents during and after a divorce.
In past research, mental health experts have said that how well parents got along after a divorce had a lot to do with:
- How well the children handle the divorce
- The quality of the parent-child relationship
Now, researchers have found that, regardless of the relationship between the two parents at the time of separation, when the kids and parent who is no longer living at home stayed in contact through social media, the parent-child relationship grew.
“Make sure you’re having consistent and frequent contact with your child. If it’s in person, that’s fantastic. But in between, reach out to your child, by text or Facebook or other social media. Letting your child know that you’re there and you care is really important,” says Mindy Markham, a co-author of the study.
We realize that many custodial parents may be hesitant to allow their child free rein to communicate with their ex-spouse, but it is important to remember that they are also a parent. Barring any court orders saying otherwise, researchers say that, if the child is old enough to have a cell phone, the parent living outside the home “should be able to contact the child directly.”
Issues In A Divorce
When a separating couple has minor children, the process can become incredibly difficult. Aside from regular divorce issues (asset distribution, spousal maintenance, etc.), issues of custody and support must be handled.
Child custody can be broken down into legal custody and physical custody.
- Legal custody has to do with which parent gets to make choices about things like schools, religious upbringing, and medical decisions.
- Physical custody has to do with where the child will reside.
For both types of custody, there can be sole custody and joint custody, though it does not have to be the same for both types. Both parents could have joint legal custody while only one has physical custody and vice versa.
For the non-custodial parent, a visitation schedule will need to be arranged.
Along with child custody comes child support payments. The court will look at the living arrangements and financial situation of both parties to determine what a fair level of child support will be.
How An Attorney Can Help
Divorce is going to be hard on the children, but we are encouraged to learn that social media is playing a positive role in easing those burdens. If you are a parent going through a divorce, please keep this study in mind.
Separation is not easy and you should always secure assistance from an Arizona family law attorney to help you through the process. You want to do what is best for your children and that means having an advocate by your side.
Click here for information on relocating with a child after divorce in Arizona.