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A child may try to take on a parent's role after divorce

Children react to their parents' divorce in different ways, depending on their age, personality and a host of other factors. One issue that experts have noted is that a child may realize that there is a "vacuum" within the traditional family structure now that the parents are not together, and he or she will then attempt to take on that role.

For example, if the family used to have two working parents, an older child may try to take on extra work to help provide for the family. Kids may also try to do extra to take care of the house, do repairs and upkeep, and more.

On some levels, having a child step up and help is extremely beneficial, but parents have to be aware of when this goes too far. It's important for kids to be kids. You don't want your 10-year-old child to try to take on adult responsibilities and feel all of the stress of the divorce.

As such, when creating your parenting plan and reaching a custody agreement with your ex, try to craft a plan that ensures that kids won't have to do too much. Give them a safe, comfortable place to live and just be themselves. Both parents still need to take on responsibilities and work together toward the children's best interests, whether they are married or not.

It's about more than just good intentions; for the good of your kids, you need the proper legal structure to be in place. Make sure you know how to do this and how it can help to hold you both accountable.

Source: Empowering Parents, "Parenting After Divorce: 9 Ways to Parent on Your Own Terms," Debbie Pincus, accessed Nov. 21, 2016

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