There are an estimated 46,523 divorces filed every week in the United States. This figure may seem high, but it corresponds to several other statistics: for example, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 50% of all modern marriages will end in divorce. While every divorce involves some difficult decisions, divorcing parents will face some especially delicate choices. Who gets custody? How will you and your ex determine child support? Do divorce attorneys handle family law issues? By following these steps, you can help you and your children get through this confusing process as smoothly as possible.
- Don’t Badmouth Your Ex–Divorces are famous for creating tension and sour feelings. In this situation, you can and should express these emotions…but not to your kids. Like it or not, your former partner is their parent too, and venting to them about their mom or dad’s faults only hurts them, not your former partner.
- Your Divorce is Not a Competition For Your Child’s Affection– Many times, a family law lawyer will ask a child which parent they would prefer to live with. As children, their answer often has very little to do who they like better, and more to do with who buys the good cereal. Don’t worry about who you children “love” more: you’re both their parents, and they love you both. Instead, spend your time working with your divorce attorney to ensure that you will be able to spend quality time with your children after the divorce is finalized.
- A Healthy Environment is More Important Than “Winning”– While it might be hard to negotiate peacefully and effectively with your former spouse, working out a custody agreement that is beneficial to the two of you and your children is extremely important. Not only will it make it easier for you both in the long run, but it will also help your children quickly adjust to their new family structure. Try setting up a friendly meeting, with a divorce lawyer or child custody lawyer present if necessary. If possible, attempt to set up a shared custody agreement, which usually helps parents balance their schedules and allows children to spend needed time with both of their parents.
Divorce is a long, hard process that can often take over a year to complete. If you have children, this process can be even more difficult. While their new situation will inevitably mean a major change in their lives, you don’t want to hurt them. However, following the steps above can help create a sense of normalcy and remind them that for better or worse, they still have a family. Take the first step: discuss your situation with a family law attorney or divorce attorney today. Helpful info also found here.