Finding Your Balance: Telling the Kids about the Divorce

Date: October 28,  2014
Author: admin
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Categories: Divorce

Divorce is the most entangled and emotional when children are involved. Not only do the spouses have to negotiate over material assets, they must contend with the very personal decisions regarding child custody. Divorcing couples with children also have to find ways to help their children cope with the divorce during and after the process.

The divorce process starts for children the moment they’re told that it’s happening. So, consider very carefully what you’re going to say and where you’re going to say it when making the announcement. The more balanced your approach, the more you can help your children get through it as smoothly as possible, given the circumstances.

Snapshot in Time

For better or worse, the moment children hear that their parents are getting divorced is a memory that stays with them. So, bear that in mind when deciding where to tell them, and do take time to contemplate the setting. When choosing a location, there are two characteristics to consider.

Start by considering places that aren’t too public. News that significant can cause elevated, unexpected emotions and children need a safe place to express themselves.

Second, choose a location away from home so the children won’t associate where they live with the memory of receiving the news. It’s a difficult balance of priorities, so it can be equally difficult to pinpoint the right spot. Ideas might include a counselor’s office or relative’s home. When deciding where to tell your children that you’re getting a divorce, don’t underestimate the power of the news you will be delivering or the length of time they’ll need to process it.

Write it Down

The initial conversation you will be having with your children about the divorce should not be off-the-cuff and spontaneous. You’ll probably be experiencing intense emotions right along with your children, and in order to help you keep your cool and get them through it, you need to be prepared. Write down the main points, so you don’t forget anything significant. But, keep it short.

The news will already be overwhelming to the kids. They don’t need to be further burdened by information that is unnecessary at the time, so balance plays a role here, as it does in your decision about where to tell them. Leave plenty of time for questions and emotion, but don’t leave out what matters most. Include the following information and answer these questions when planning what to say:

• Are we moving? Is mom/dad moving?
• Which parent will we live with? Are we still a family?
• Explain that it is not their fault and they are still loved
• Assure them that their needs will be met
• Make them feel confident that they can come to you with questions anytime

The list is fairly short and simple, but it’s also an important tool that will allow you to provide your children with the answers and assurance they need. By preparing the list ahead of time you will have more confidence in the process, too.


Telling your kids that you are divorcing is not going to be easy on you or them. Preparing what you plan to say and choosing the location carefully, however, will help give you the balance you need and ease the burden for all of you.

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Collaborative vs. Litigated Divorces: Choosing The Right Path

Date: October 02,  2014
Author: admin
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Categories: Divorce

Just as there are multiple reasons why couples choose to seek a divorce, there are also multiple paths available to obtain the divorce. The type of divorce you choose will depend on a number of factors, including size and complexity of the estate to be divided, whether or not minor children are involved, and whether or not you and your spouse are cooperative with one another.

Of the four types of divorce, which are collaborative, litigated, mediated, and do-it-yourself, both the collaborative and litigated divorce processes require attorneys. A collaborative divorce is less expensive and allows the couple to avoid court until the end, but if the spouses aren’t on civil terms, litigation may be the only appropriate path.

Collaborative Divorce

If a couple want to avoid going to court, a collaborative divorce may be a good option. A cooperative effort must be made throughout the process because all parties in a collaborative divorce, including the attorneys, must sign agreements that require both lawyers to remove themselves from the case if litigation is threatened or the parties cannot reach a settlement. That means that you will have to start over completely and hire new lawyers. So, cooperation and flexibility are essential in a collaborative divorce.

In addition to an attorney experienced in handling collaborative divorces, you may want to consider hiring a therapist to help guide you through emotionally charged issues. You may also need a neutral divorce financial planner if your assets are complex.

The biggest perk about opting for a collaborative divorce is that, even though you will still need to hire an attorney (and possibly additional professionals), a collaborative divorce is most often less expensive than a litigated divorce. You can also avoid the courts for the most part. You will have to appear in court at least once to sign the divorce papers before a judge,

Litigated Divorce

If there is a history of mental and/or physical violence or drug/alcohol use, or if you fear that your spouse is cheating or hiding assets, then a litigated, or traditional, divorce is the solution. Additionally, choose litigation if you cannot reach an agreement on important issues, such as child custody and support and division of assets.

Often, litigated divorces don’t end up in court, as a settlement is reached first. However, many divorces are contentious and emotion-fueled, so negotiations end up in a stalemate. When that happens, the case is moved inside the courtroom and the lawyers change from ‘negotiation’ mode to ‘win’ mode. Court should be a last resort since the judge, who knows very little about the situation, is the one who will be making life changing decisions on behalf of both parties.

Consider all of your options carefully before deciding which path to take to divorce. If you have any concerns about your spouse’s integrity or commitment to cooperation, or if you’re concerned about fair division of assets or custody, then it’s best to play it safe and opt for a traditional, litigated divorce.

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