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The importance of avoiding emotional tunnel vision

Divorce experts warn that people who split up can get what they call "emotional tunnel vision."

Essentially, the divorce is taxing. Maybe they didn't want to split up. Maybe they did, but it's still a huge change in their lives, and they have trouble adjusting. These people may be looking forward to the end result, but that doesn't mean divorce is simple and easy.

This stress and emotional turmoil can push someone to only think about the way it is impacting him or her. Everything else falls by the wayside. The person may not intentionally be neglecting others, but it just happens.

That's problematic for married couples. The children need to be the main focus. Their best interests have to come first.

Parents have to put aside their own desires to create a parenting plan that helps eliminate stress and anxiety for the kids, for instance. They need to consider how they can fit parenting time into their own busy schedules so that the kids can still have strong relationships with both parents.

Co-parenting requires a lot of planning. You want to get most of this in writing. It should address legal obligations, from custody time to support payments. Emotional tunnel vision is so problematic because it gets in the way and causes parents to ignore the needs of their kids.

As you move toward divorce, it's important to start with an understanding of your own rights and your legal position. Just don't stop there. Consider exactly what the change is going to mean for your kids and how to plan ahead for their future as well as your own.

Source: Parents, "9 Rules to Make Joint Child Custody Work," Kate Bayless, accessed Jan. 11, 2018

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