Divorce is almost always a difficult process. While the path leading up to divorce is often filled with pain and arguments, divorce in and of itself does not always mark the end of such fights. For many couples, visitation and child custody issues can tend to bring up arguments and old hurts for a long time.
As children are very perceptive, this under-the-surface tension can be easily picked up on, which can make the child feel at odds, potentially affecting their relationships with parents. According to Psychologist Dr. Jill Schwartzberg, fights over parental rights are almost guaranteed to negatively affect children.
That is why she recommends that couples who are having a hard time coming to terms seek out a mediator.
Before that decision is made, however, it is a good idea to sit down with your former spouse, and attempt to formulate out a detailed plan for your child. Any issue that can potentially come up during the raising of a child should be covered. While it is certainly not easy to agree on such important issues, both parents need to remember that this is for the good of their child, and dragging it out into a large fight is not going to do anyone any good.
The plan should include things such as where children will live/stay, what their free time will be used on (both extracurricular and summer time), and any important educational or medical decisions. Finances should play a part of the discussion as well, although for best effect, those will have to be covered with attorneys present.
Divorce may mean the end of a couple, but it does not mean the end of a family. If there are children in the picture, they should be cared for as well as if the marriage were still going strong.