Divorce With Dignity: Keeping It Peaceful For the Kids
Each divorce is complex and unique to the individual couple but it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be nasty. Divorce can turn ugly because of anger, resentment, jealousy or many other reasons where high emotions are involved. The best thing to realize early on is that regardless of the reason you are divorcing, a messy divorce will only add more stress to your life and the lives of your kids if you have them.Here are some ways to try and avoid the drama and divorce with dignity. Now that you have decided to divorce go out to dinner, or a café to talk about some of the initial details. It’s best to have these kinds of conversations out of the house or at home when the kids aren’t there. At this meeting you need to discuss when you will start living apart and where that will be. To be courteous, develop a budget to make sure that each of you can survive financially independent of each other. Once you are done with these things then have mini meetings in the following weeks to discuss the topics below. If you find that you don’t see eye to eye on some or many things then use a mediator or try and meet in the middle in some areas.
Who will have custody of the kids? If this becomes an issue then each person should list out the pros and cons of the kids living with them and compare the lists. What kind of parenting plan will you have? Will you make joint decisions about what schools they attend, what camp they go to, or will one parent make most of those types of decisions? And what about child support? Create a number that’s fair based on what each person’s income is. If you know your spouse makes 25,000 a year and your asking for half of that, it’s unrealistic.
Do you own property together or maybe even a business? If you don’t this doesn’t apply but if you do you need to write down a plan for when you want to sell certain properties and which spouse will handle the different tasks on the list. Do you have a pet and if so who will get the pet? The bottom line is try and always put yourself in the other persons shoes. If you get the kids full time then probably the most amicable thing to do is to give up the dog.
THE LEGAL SIDE
You will need to find a mediator if you have issues with each other. If you don’t then hire an independent paralegal service who can start preparing the proper papers and guide you in the right direction. Next you will need a great attorney. The best way to find a good one is to ask around first. Maybe a co-worker or good friend can recommend someone.
THE HEALING PROCESS
After you’ve gotten the ball rolling on these things, start healing and taking care of yourself. This can mean a little pampering, or treating yourself to something nice. This could mean prayer with a good friend or your pastor. It could mean meditation at home or a relaxing book on a weekend solo getaway. Another great idea is to find support groups in your area.