Going through a divorce is a stressful experience for everyone and your children are particularly vulnerable to it. However, as explained by Sean Grower L.C. S. W. in his article for Psychology Today, living in a bad marriage is worse for kids than living through a divorce. Therefore, staying in a broken relationship isn’t an option.
What you should do instead is to try and minimize the negative effects of this separation on your children. This is how you can do this:
Get the right kind of legal help
Hiring a divorce lawyer can make the process smoother. However, it’s out of the question for many people because of the high costs. The good news is that today there are many ways to avoid huge bills. The best methods are filing for an online divorce or hiring an attorney that charges a reasonably low flat rate to help you navigate an uncontested divorce.
Laura A. Wasser, a family attorney with over 20 years of experience, says that one needs to choose their battles carefully. According to her, filing for an online divorce in Florida makes sense only if it’s uncontested and you and your spouse have negotiated and agreed on every point of your legal split. It’s the same for the majority of states, but, for example, in New York, California, and Nebraska, the legal processes related to divorce are rather convoluted and long-term. Therefore, one should use the guidance of an attorney even if they can, theoretically, settle all their issues without one.
Simply put, if there is even one issue you and your soon-to-be ex-wife can’t agree on, you’re better off hiring a lawyer or at least a mediator with legal background who will be able to help resolve it. Otherwise, using automated online services is fine to avoid extra costs.
Close your bank accounts and have a thorough audit
Sadly, few divorces go smoothly and spending the joint bank account balance or tampering with family finances in some other way is a common enough occurrence. Your children most certainly must not be subjected to the fallout of that.
So, your priority must be damage limitation, which means having your joint accounts closed and all your family finances audited the moment you decide to get divorced. The same goes for joint credit cards, advises Deborah Fowles in her article for The Balance. She also highlights how you should first consult an attorney if you plan to withdraw some funds from those accounts.
In the meantime, you should consult a personal accountant and a tax expert as well. In fact, you should consider doing this before you get to the actual divorce (if you are the one initiating it). These experts will allow you to understand what kind of financial position you will end up in after the proceedings, if everything goes smoothly.
Sometimes, it might be a better idea to wait with the legal split before you settle some debt or resolve other financial issues.
Provide your kids with therapy and support they need
You and your wise might have some issues, but your children are blameless in it al. And that’s exactly what you need to explain to them. They will suffer through your separation and kids often end up blaming themselves for these situations. Therefore, the first thing you should do is to sit down together and explain to your children (calmly!) that you are divorcing and the reasons behind this decision.
Most importantly, make sure that your kids understand that while you might not have feelings for each other anymore, you love them just as much as you always did. And you will keep loving them regardless of whether you live together or not.
This won’t be an easy talk and it’s essential to use the help of a counselor or therapist to help your kids sort their feelings and get through this experience.