Divorce With Children: The Considerations
All of the Issues of Divorce with Children
Children and divorce create new problems, and obligations including:
- Emotional obligations and problems
- Financial obligations and issues
- Time obligations and problems
You might be able to predict some child-centered issues for children after divorce by watching other divorced parents. This will provide only part of the story.
Children Need More Support After Divorce
In most cases, children need more support from each parent than when you were a one-home household.
Also, there will be many issues you will not be able to predict or will predict incorrectly. After all, you can only see the situation from where you are, not from the other side. Divorce is a one-way door.
Joint Custody Still Needs a Custodial Parent
Even with joint custody, parents still have to decide who will be the custodial parent. When the non-custodial parent is active and interested in spending time with the children, the custodial parent might be in the disadvantaged position in relating to the children.
Often the custodial parent has to put up with day-to-day routines and general discipline, while the non-custodial parent has more time to do the fun activities with less need for discipline. This puts the children in a situation similar to the position of the cheating spouse in an affair. Home represents drudgery and boredom whereas time with the non-custodial parent is fun and games.
You might think that your situation will be different because you've talked about it. However, what I hear from parents after the divorce is that you cannot know for sure how the other parent will act after the divorce is finalized.
Family and Emotions After Divorce With Children
Some family decisions become emotional decisions after a divorce. You and your current spouse will always be parents together, and your spouse's family will probably always want to be a part of your children's lives. Some of the messy decisions will include what to do and whom to invite at birthday parties and other life events such as weddings.
For example, whom will your child want to go down the aisle with? You and your ex? Or, your spouse alone? Or, your spouse and the new spouse?
Often holidays and vacations are easier at first, but now you will have at least three families, and possibly six or more, vying for your children's time: You, your ex-spouse, your ex-spouse's parents, possibly your ex-spouse's new in-laws, your parents, and possibly your new in-laws, and this is assuming that none of your children's grandparents is divorced.
Imagine your new lover or spouse and his or her family being part of your children's lives, being called "Mommy" or "Daddy" and having to interact in some way with your ex-spouse, your ex-in-laws, and even your own family. Conversely, imagine your ex-spouse's new lover and his or her family being part of your children's lives and having to interact in some way with you and your family.
Divorce With Children Has Many Complications
Consider the following possible issues after a divorce with children:
- How will your new partner feel about you spending time with your previous family?
- How will your new partner feel about you spending money on your children from your previous spouse?
- Feelings and decisions will change after you and your new partner have your own children - no matter what you and your new lover say ahead of time.
- Time and money priorities will change for your new spouse, if not for you, after having your own children.
- You may feel your children are not receiving the time and money from your ex-spouse that you think is owed them, both in general and especially after your ex-spouse may have children with someone else.
- You may be left to deal with your hurt children, as they watch the "preferred" family "hogging" your ex-spouse's time and money. And, there's nothing you can do about it.
- Any of these situations can arise, despite good intentions you or your ex-spouse may have had prior to your separation or divorce.
Increased Burden After Divorce with Children
Personally, you will have more child-care needs because you won't be there to relieve each other. Even a few minutes of relief here and there make more of a difference than you probably realize.
Coordinating carpools and after-school activities will be more difficult because everything will take phone calls or emails. You might think you already do this, but believe me, it has a different quality after you separate, and even more so after you divorce.
Changing Your Mind Can Solve These Problems
In my experience, most people who think they are falling out of love have really just hit a wall of resentment. This is big-time resentment and unresolved anger from years of perceived neglect and perceived mistreatment.
You CAN Recuperate and You CAN Save Your Marriage
Incredible as it might seem to you now, many couples do recuperate and create relationships better than they ever had before, even after being on the verge of divorce and feeling out-of-love with the spouse.
Whatever the cost and trouble of long-term marital counseling, for most couples, it will be easier on everyone and less expensive than following the path of divorce (learn about the true cost of divorce).
That said, however, success will depend on a number of factors. Find a marriage-friendly therapist with plenty of experience. If your situation includes infidelity, try for someone who has experience specific to marital affairs.
Falling Back in Love With Your Spouse
Will you get back your love feelings and passion toward your spouse?
I don't have a crystal ball so I don't know if you can fall back in love with your spouse. There are multiple elements that can determine your success or failure. I have published many articles including free marriage tips on this website, as well as marriage self-help programs, that may help you figure out if you can save your marriage and stop divorce.
Do Self-Help Programs Work?
Some of you will be able to use self-help marriage programs with great success. I know this because I receive feedback from couples who have successfully used my self-help programs.
However, since you are reading this topic I assume that divorce is a serious option for you and you might need a more personal intervention. If so, I urge you to find a marriage-friendly therapist and investigate his experience.
Wishing you all the best in making your currently broken marriage work for both of you and for your children,
Marriage Counseling and Help
To work with me you can call me (locally on 410-654-1300 or toll-free on 866-654-1300) and set up an appointment for either marriage counseling or marriage retreats and together we can work at saving your marriage.
I have helped countless couples save their marriage and stop divorce. I have been helping couples from all over the world fix broken marriages for over 35 years.