For most parents, the house, car, and investment portfolio aren’t the biggest assets at stake. Rather than the financial concerns attached to divorce, less time with the kids is the real twist of the knife. And this is what tends to intimidate mothers considering divorce. You’ve spent the last several years raising them and being with them nonstop. Now you’re facing the heartbreaking concept of having some of that time taken away from you.
Fear aside, there are steps you can take to be the best parent possible during this turbulent time. Through a few healthy communication practices and collaboration with your ex, your children can be properly prepared for what lies ahead. And if you need legal support for your Orange County divorce, reach out to the family law experts at the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens.
1. Try to Collaborate Towards Shared Agreements
As a mother in the midst of an Orange County divorce, you’re likely working with your ex-spouse as a co-parent. It may be tough at first, especially in high-conflict situations, but it’s crucial to put these feelings aside for the sake of your children. When you two are able to collaborate, even if your children don’t notice it, you’re setting a shining example rather than inciting additional conflict. Coming to an agreement about custody and visitation, alimony, and parental decisions outside of court will also prevent costly litigation from ensuing.
2. Learn & Practice Co-Parenting with Your Ex-Spouse
Co-parenting, or working with your spouse to continue parenting your children, is a children-first method that requires ample practice. Even amicable divorces are prone to an unforeseen conflict, such as when the holidays come around and you don’t know how to split visitation time.
Through co-parenting, these decisions can be established ahead of time to avoid any potential disputes. This is often done outside of court through a trusted Orange County divorce mediator who knows your family dynamic.
3. Don’t Mention Details to Your Kids
Your kids, even if on the younger side, are likely aware of your divorce. While it’s generally acceptable to answer their questions in an age-appropriate way, don’t take it too far. Villainizing your ex risks alienating your children from their other parent, which is unfair and malicious. We’d also suggest not bashing your ex while on the phone with your mom, best friend, or therapist. Kids hear more than you’d think and typically aren’t emotionally equipped to handle those details.
4. Record All Communication
As a general rule of thumb, try to keep all communication with your ex-spouse in writing – especially if the divorce was highly contentious. Your email threads, text messages, and calls all tell a story through a paper trail. If your ex says one thing and does another or attempts to make false claims to a family judge, you’ll have records to fall back on.
5. Brace Your Kids for What’s to Come
Not all children react to divorce in the same way. Kids in their early teens who’ve noticed their parents drift apart may believe it’s for the best, while a younger child who’s been blindsided will likely feel abandoned. During this time, it’s completely normal for children to experience feelings of confusion, sadness, and even guilt.
Your job here is to provide the reassurance that it’s not their fault, that you love them, and that you’ll always be there as their parent. You may even consider having your children talk through it all with a divorce therapist.
Consider Mediating Your Orange County Divorce
Do you require divorce mediation services to establish a healthy co-parenting relationship? Consult an Orange County divorce mediator such as Jennifer Owens, Esq. At the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we revel in the power of choice. When spouses face divorce, they’re presented with a slew of decisions with a handful of potential outcomes. Our attorneys are believers in the best possible outcome, where a former couple chooses peace over destruction so that they can finally move on to their next chapter. No matter your desired path – mediation, a negotiated settlement, or even litigation – The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens will help you achieve the best possible outcome by reaching a settlement that keeps all involved parties in mind. Visit our website to review our family law services, or contact us online for a free consultation.