You have finally decided to go through with it, you are getting a divorce. As a divorcing parent, what do you need to think about? How do you minimize the affect of the divorce on your children?

First and foremost, hire a good attorney, in the end you may find it worth it to sit down with a few attorneys to find the one that you think is the best fit. You are most likely going to spend a lot of money with this person, so make sure it is the right one the first time around. If you need help finding a qualified attorney, you can contact your local bar association, most have websites with directories of practitioners and their areas of focus. If you can't afford an attorney, contact your local court to learn about Pro Se Centers or attorneys offering Pro Bono work. Some other avenues to consider are mediation and the collaborative family law movement.

as a divorcing parent you can minimize the affect of your divorce on your children Children are often a lot smarter than we give them credit for. They often know that something is up long before you sit down to tell them. It is important that you and your co-parent create an environment where your children can express their feelings and frustrations. To your children, divorce can be earth shattering for them. It can bring on feelings of anger, despair, resentment, loneliness and guilt. These feelings may manifest themselves in changes in behavior, sleep patterns and eating habits.

Helping your child to understand these feelings is not easy. Seeking the help of a support group may make it easier on them. You can often find programs through your child's school or religious organization. Another option is counseling or therapy, which can also be helpful.

One thing that greatly improve the outcome for your children is your ability to "get along" or communicate with your co-parent. This can be very difficult in some relationships, but is no less important. Mis-communications and mistakes, often innocently made, can turn into huge arguments. This is also why it is very important that you do not use the children as the messengers. It may seem innocent to ask your child to let the other parent know about the parent teacher conferences, but if the other parent reacts poorly because it conflicts with something, your child is left to absorb those feelings. Tools like the OurFamilyWizard website can be very helpful in shielding children from the adult conversations while keeping the dialogue open and documented.

The biggest piece of advice you hear again and again is that you should never bad mouth the other parent. Children need to think their parents are "rock stars", talking poorly about the other parent doesn't only affect the children's view of the other parent, it also can affect how they view themselves. Your feelings of anger and frustration should not be vented to your children, if you need to talk to someone about your feelings, find family, friends or professional help. If you child has questions, you don't need to candy coat things, but you also don't need to give them the full play by play.

Author's Bio: 

Co-parenting, shared parenting and joint child custody tools for divorced or unmarried parents. Parenting time calendars, custody calendars, visitation schedules, shared expense management, messages, information storage and more to help with child custody relationships.