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As many Washington parents have found, young children are often known for being very impressionable. Habits and lessons they learn as children have a significant chance of remaining with them for many years, if not their entire lives. Children most often learn lessons from parents, and when they see their parents' relationship ending and must go through child custody proceedings, their own relationships with each parent can suffer.

A recent study found that when a child's parents divorce when he or she is very young, the child may have a harder time developing a stable relationship with their parents. Seeing early on that the love between their parents did not last could lead to the child feeling as if the parents may be unreliable when needed emotionally. This insecure relationship between child and parent could also have a negative impact on the child's own romantic relationships as an adult.

Child custody also plays a role in how the relationships between parents are formed. Obviously, if a child spends more time around one parent than the other, then the bond with the custodial parent may be more substantial. The study showed that relationships between fathers and children seemed to be more strained than those between mothers and children, but this could be due to the fact that less fathers gain custody of their children.

Divorce and child custody proceedings are sometimes inevitable. If the situation should arise where a child must witness such events, it is important that their best interests are taken into consideration and that parents are aware of how to move forward with doing what would be beneficial for the children. Having information on child custody laws in Washington could help parents better understand what their children may be facing should they choose to divorce.