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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

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A friendly divorce can still be hard on children in New Jersey

If you are going to get divorced in New Jersey, you may think that the best option for your children is to stay friends after the split. In some ways, this can be true, as it can make coming to a child custody agreement easier, and you'll both be willing to be involved in the children's lives, which is a great goal when figuring out that custody plan. However, it's important to know that staying friends does not always go as smoothly as you hope.

To start with, children may see the friendship as a sign that you and your spouse are thinking about calling off the divorce and getting back together. This can be hard for them when it doesn't happen, as those hopes are dragged out.

On top of that, you and your spouse may find it hard to actually be civil if you're around each other a lot, especially when one or the other of you starts seeing someone else. If you go over and find your spouse's new boyfriend or girlfriend at the house -- or items they may have left there -- it can cause hurt feelings and fighting, which the children then witness.

Finally, lines in the parenting plan can get blurry, making it hard to know where you all stand. Should you go on vacation together, as if you were never divorced? It may sound enjoyable, but things like that can really kindle a child's hopes and make the transition back to a standard custody arrangement difficult.

This isn't to say that staying friends is never a good idea. You simply need to know exactly what it's going to mean when setting up your parenting plan.

Source: Huffington Post, "10 Ways Having a Friendly Divorce Can Backfire" Stephanie D. Lewis, accessed Mar. 16, 2015

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