David Woodsfellow, a psychologist in Atlanta, wrote the following article, appearing on the Georgia Psychological Association’s website:

No parent wants to get divorced. Divorce is no one’s first choice. By the time it’s gotten to divorce, many people are ready to get away from their spouse. But very few are ready to be away from their children.

Either way it’s very difficult. Being apart from one’s children is truly heartbreaking. Raising children alone is very, very hard.

But, if it’s come to divorce, there’s one principle you can’t forget. DON’T SACRIFICE YOUR CHILDREN. Don’t harm your children so that you’ll feel better.

When arranging custody and visitation, there are lots of moments when you could "act out" your anger, hurt, and frustration at your former spouse. But you shouldn’t.

Instead, this is the time for altruism. You need to do what’s best for your children, even if that’s not what’s best for you personally – even when you’re hurt and angry inside.

It takes maturity and wisdom to do this.

It may be better for the children to stay in the same house and the same school – even if that means you two will have to work together to support them.

It would be better for the children not to have to hear your complaints about each other – even if that means you’ll have to control yourselves and find other outlets.

It would be better for the kids not to carry messages between the two of you – even if that means you’ll have to talk directly to each other.

It may be better for the kids to maintain an ongoing relationship with both of you – even if that means that you’ll have to learn how to act kindly and considerately toward each other.

Long ago, King Solomon needed to determine the true mother of a certain baby. Two women claimed the child as theirs. King Solomon decided that the baby should be cut in two, and each woman should get half. Then one of the women begged the king not to kill the baby but instead to give the baby to the other woman. King Solomon knew that the woman who begged for mercy was the real mother. He knew that the real parent wouldn’t allow her baby to be killed.

You need to be a real parent too. You can’t sacrifice your children for your own needs. It’s better to let your babies go, than have them harmed.

SOURCE: Georgia Psychological Association