Try to put you children's best interests first. But that doesn't necessarily mean putting your own interest last.

Expect your kids to be upset. Since children often feel they are to blame for a divorce, reassure you child that he or she was not responsible for your decision.

Arrange for "quality time" with each parent.

Tell the children what the arrangements are. Be sure to answer all their questions about when they'll see each parent, and where their things will be.

Remember that custody arrangements aren't etched in granite. If it's not working, or if your needs or the children's needs change, arrangements can be modified. Don't:

Assume the kids only care about you, and not about the other parent.

Try alternating-day custody (Sunday, Mom; Monday, Dad; Tuesday, Mom, etc.)."It doesn't work," says Brown, "because the kids lose their roots."

Tell the child he must be "the man of the house," or she will be "Daddy's little woman." Let them be children, with adults still in charge. "

Dump your frustrations about your ex-spouse on the children. Save it for a therapist or trusted friend.

Use pick-up and drop-off time as an excuse to thrash out problems with your ex-spouse. Take care of that another time.

Tell the child he or she is "acting just like your father (mother." They might think you'll divorce them, too.