Parenting is hard in the best of times. During a divorce, it gets even more difficult.
Divorce isn’t easy for anyone, but it can be especially tough for parents. It isn’t just the children involved who might have trouble understanding all the changes coming to the family. There is a lot to divide up so that two partners can go their separate ways.
Here are three things about divorce that every parent should know to make the process as smooth as possible for everyone involved.
1. A Fact of Life
Divorce is unfortunately just a fact of life in America. Almost half (48%) of marriages fail to meet the 20-year mark. That means there is a pretty decent chance of any given marriage eventually breaking up.
Parenting is another fact of life. When these two things collide, it can make things difficult for the whole family. However, there are ways to mitigate the trouble and make things a bit easier for all involved.
For one thing, you could look into getting a mediator during your divorce. They can help resolve things peacefully.
But an amicable divorce is not just about the mediators and lawyers. Another very important aspect of all this is the health and well-being of everyone involved. Parenting involves a lot of self-sacrifice, but you should take care of yourself as much as your children during this difficult process.
There is a lot to contend with when it comes to divorce. It can be overwhelming at times with all the moving parts. That is why it might be nice to take a quiet moment for yourself every now and then through exercise or even meditation. The benefits of meditation for parenting include being calmer in your decision making and just feeling better overall.
If meditation isn’t your thing, you could try exercise. Exercise keeps the body healthy and releases endorphins that can help keep your mind clear and focused. This will be very important as you move through this difficult process.
2. Logistics and the Divorce Process
OK, that’s some of the daily life issues you might face, but what about the actual logistics of getting a divorce?
The first thing you should know is that it is not as simple as just filing and then waiting for the paperwork to go through. In many states, there is a waiting period after you file for divorce. For example, the mandatory waiting period in Kansas is 60 days.
During that time, you still need to keep up with parenting, work, and all the other tasks of daily life. It can be difficult worrying about the groceries or your taxes or car safety when you have so much else going on, but life isn’t going to stop during this process. It is important to be aware that the divorce process can be a long one.
The whole process starts when one partner is served divorce papers by the other, or both agree and simply sign an acknowledgment. Then begins the long process of sorting out assets, liabilities, income, and expenses.
In the best-case scenario, the divorce is uncontested and just a matter of paperwork. Of course, things like parenting can complicate this because then custody comes into play as well. A partner might get an outside lawyer for help at this point.
3. Documents and Planning
We just hinted at this, but divorce requires a lot of documents and a lot of planning. Even the best-laid plans can be upended by a divorce. Everything from wills to estate plans can be thrown into turmoil when partners get a divorce.
Regardless of whether or not you are getting divorced, the common wisdom recommends you update your estate plan every five years just to make sure it is current. A divorce might be the right time for that if you haven’t updated those kinds of documents before. Major life events like marriage, divorce, and moving to a new state often involve an update to documentation.
You might also need to do some work around any real estate you hold together. If you are moving, you might need to find a realtor to help you with that process. It can be tricky to untangle bank accounts during a divorce and owning property only complicates that further.
One thing that helps with all this documentation is an outside perspective. This is especially important when it comes to parenting and divorce. No parent wants to spend their child’s life unnecessarily. However, that’s a difficult prospect during a divorce.
It may be worthwhile to do some meditation to make the process more amicable. This can help in terms of parenting and your children’s well being, as well as in terms of you and your spouse splitting with as little hassle as possible.
All this having been said, take some time to look after yourself as well. Reach out to family and friends for support. It is OK to need a little help during such a difficult and turbulent time. Even the most amicable splits involve some about of trouble and heartache. Make sure you aren’t alone and have all the support you need during your divorce.