Even after divorce, your children need routine

Your children’s lives are likely filled with routines. They wake up at the same time every day, get dressed, eat breakfast and go to school. They have classes in the same order, with the same teachers and friends. Then they come home or engage in after-school activities. They eat dinner, shower and head to bed at roughly the same time. In short, they know what to expect out of every day, at least in terms of a broad picture.

Childhood experts know that this routine is very important to them. It can reduce stress. It helps them find balance in life. It makes them feel like they fit in. It helps them plan for the things they want and the things they have to do. Routine can be comforting. Even when they complain about parts of it — like waking up for school — the truth is that they would feel uneasy and concerned if they lost that routine.

This is something you want to think about when going through a divorce. What can you do to create a child custody schedule that maintains the routines they are used to? For instance, maybe you were planning on selling the house and moving. If that means the children have to start over at a new school, though, would it be better for them if you stayed in the same home? Plus, you need to think about how you and your ex can both have time with them without breaking up the routine too much.

Things are going to change after divorce. They always do. But knowing how to focus on the children’s best interests as you look into your custody options can make things go smoothly.