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Divorce: Staying close to kids as a noncustodial parent

Every family situation in Minnesota and beyond is unique and some are more challenging than others. When divorce occurs, it can be difficult to adapt to a new lifestyle. Especially if there are unresolved legal issues between a custodial and noncustodial parent, it can cause serious problems and impede a parent/child relationship.

Noncustodial parents can be proactive by remaining close to their kids. To keep stress levels low, one of the best things parents can do is to show respect for each other, especially in front of their children. Speaking negatively or otherwise trying to undermine a co-parent's relationship with his or her kids can make life miserable and can also prompt litigation in family court.

Kids experience a wide range of emotions when their parents divorce. As a noncustodial parent, it is critical to keep trying to maintain a close bond with children, even if they seem distant or angry at first. It may be helpful to verbally remind children that spouses divorce but parents do not -- once a parent, always a parent. This can help alleviate a child's fear of abandonment, which is common among kids whose parents split up.

It's typically also a good idea to try to live as close to one's children as possible after  a Minnesota divorce. This way, kids feel like both parents are still consistently available to help them with school and other personal matters. If a custodial parent is threatening to move children far away or otherwise using kids to get back at a spouse for past marital hurts, such as by disobeying an existing court order, the parent affected can seek the court's intervention to rectify the situation.

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