One of the hardest moments in a divorce is sharing with your children that you and your spouse will be separating. It’s so hard to know how to start and have such an awkward conversation.
Here are some tips we like to share with our clients to help them in having this painful dialogue:
- Make sure you are 100% sure that a divorce will be occurring prior to telling your children
- Weekend mornings are a good time
- The age of your children will determine how much detail will be shared
- Keep it simple
- Stay away from inappropriate information
- Every family member should be present, including both parents
- Keep a unified front
- Let them know how much you love them and your divorce is not their fault and that you both are happy they were born
- Share with them that you are still a family, just restructured
- Let them know some of the future plans involving your divorce
- Share with them that they will be living in two homes and will still see both of you regularly
Often in our lives, we are faced with life-altering conversations, and more often than not, it won’t be black & white, it will be various shades of gray. This talk will not be a one and done, it will be an ongoing and evolving dialogue.
Our team of experts can help you and your spouse to develop a dialogue that will shield your children from the raw emotion that divorce brings.
At Peace Talks Mediation Services, our custody mediation and parenting plan mediation services assist divorced, divorcing, and never-married parents in working together to develop a child-centered custody plan and improve your ability to co-parent.
Contact us today to see how we can help you and your spouse handle this life-changing conversation.
Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.
One of the most frustrating constants we see in Divorce Mediation is that a surprising percentage of the children involved will have adjustment issues that will need to be addressed by a an outside specialist. It’s a difficult decision point to face as I can bear witness to in my own life.
Now matter how amiable the atmosphere may be, somekids are going to have a tough time with the divorce and its personal consequences. These conflicts will continue so the tone that is set will be important in the years, and with the adjustments, to come as situations change.
The therapists I work with emphasize the importance of not hesitating to make a call, explore situational options, and talk to someone. It’s only through a dialogue that you will find the right person for your child and for you. Your insurance will dictate your institutional choices but there may be private avenues to explore that are accessible through personal connections.
If you’d like some suggestions for yourself or a friend contact my office about some associate referrals.
by Stephanie Maloney
There’s a lawsuit filed by the ACLU aimed at preventing families seeking asylum from being separated at the border. It’s a cruel tactic implemented to discourage refugees from coming to America and if you disagree with this decision there is a petition you can sign on their website to stop this practice.
Split Custody, as it is referred to in divorces with children, is very rare in general because of the potential harm but percentage of responsibility comes up in many court-driven divorces. When the judge decides how the financial responsibilities should be divided it is not necessarily done by “cutting them in half”. That court decision can have some seriously negative repercussions for at least one parent and ultimately for the children.
Maintaining control of the settlement process is one of the main reasons for utilizing a mediator and working towards a mutual agreement, rather than leaving it up to the court. You may not be risking custody but you might encounter what you consider to be a slightly “one-sided agreement” and end up in a financial bind. Let’s remember that the judge may also come up with visitation schedules that present logistical nightmares for vacation time and holidays. “Who gets the kids for Christmas?” is a question that you will want to decide when necessary not a third-party adjudicator.
I do encourage you to make your voice heard, if you are so inclined, to stop tearing families apart when they’ve come so far by staying together.
by Stephanie Maloney
Every family that I interact with has difficulty creating and managing their time together. By definition, Divorce creates two entities from one source. With our technology, it sounds crazy to admit that we have trouble connecting with each other but that is the reality for a lot of people. This is all about spending time together not time spent typing together.
There was a nice piece in the LA Times a few weeks ago by Catherine Price who writes about “Breaking Up With Your Phone” and avoiding screens not people.
It made me think about how easy it is to mistake texting with talking when someone asks about the kids and we say we just spoke and we mean text messages were exchanged.
Actual “Face Time” not the video application is sort of the Holy Grail of raising kids and excruciatingly so when divorced. It’s tough to compete with all the available options for kids out there but some people are getting creative in efforts to bring new spins on things to the table.
One family that caught my attention is using the bowling alley and the miniature golf course with their phones turned off until they are all finished. They all take turns keeping score and making reservations as well as handling the gear. Some people are applying that technique to the dinner hour or other shared activities in order to really connect with each other instead of their equipment.
Whatever it is I’d like to think that there’s something we can do together that doesn’t involve screens-unless it’s the screen on the back door of a cabin on a lake.