So you’ve decided to get a divorce and you are wondering what to do next. It’s daunting because you may be waking to the fact that you’ll need to make some big decisions in the coming weeks and months that will have lasting consequences with your kids in the mix. You know it is for the best but it can be overwhelming. You need to arm yourself with the knowledge in order to make the best decisions for you and your children.
As you set things in motion there are a few things to focus on that will help in the decision making process along three lines; your emotional state, your financial situation and what is best for your child. With those in mind, here are your next steps;
1. Find Emotional Support
When most people are going through separation and/or divorce it is common to keep it to yourself. Understand there is much to be gained by building a strong support system while you are going through a divorce. This may mean finding friends and family members you can comfortably confide in and/or therapy as a professional 3rd party to guide you through the spectrum of emotions that come with separation.
When you can better control your emotions, be a more present empathetic parent to your child in a time that they need you most. You can also better prepare yourself for your divorce negotiations and approach them with a calm, level head.
2. Get Organized
You will need to sort through your financial situation and get a clear picture of shared and individual debt and assets. You’ll need to collect income tax forms to account for past years filings, understanding that moving forward you may have a different status.
3. Maintain Integrity and Focus
This cannot be overstated. We will make it easy for you by giving you the most important focal point, your kid. When you come to a junction, conflict or issue, ask yourself, what is in the best interest of the child? We know how easy it is to get mired in the details and dig in over the details, perhaps because you deserve it or simply because there is hurt involved. Don’t ignore the details but keep an eye on the Big Picture.
Assuming there is not some sort of abusive behavior in the picture, you may be able to restructure your lives into a two home family where your child can reap the benefits of having a solid relationship with both parents. We understand for many many reasons this may be a challenge or simply not possible but we know that even when parents do not get along it is still possible for them to support the health and wellbeing of the child, as co-parents.
The essence of co-parenting allows parents to keep their children’s best interests at the center of everything they do, even if they are not together anymore. You may not have anything nice to say about your soon to be ex but you will certainly not say anything bad in front of the kids.
As you begin to step through this process of separation and divorce, consider downloading the coParenter app. It provides the tools you will need to work together with the best interest of your child, top of mind. If and when issues arise you can tap into a live, on-demand coParenter professional to talk it through. They will be able to help you resolve those issues, in some cases in about 20 minutes, and draft an agreement; saving you time and money.