Deciding to split up is a tough decision. Divorce with a child in the mix is even more complicated. But if you are unhappy in the relationship, it is usually the best option. Both for you and your children. Although it may be better for the family situation to separate, a divorce has a lot of impact on a child. It is a violent emotional event, with a lot of changes.
When breaking up with a child, it’s important to avoid a fight divorce. Research has shown that a divorce from combat causes a high risk of behavioral problems in children. By making good agreements together and doing ‘normally’ against each other, these risks are considerably reduced.
Divorce with a child involves a lot and you want to make sure that the separation process runs as smoothly as possible.
Breaking The News
Telling your kids that you and your partner are breaking up is perhaps the most difficult thing in the entire process. How do you do something like that? When is the best time? In the morning at breakfast? Or in the evening when telling a bedtime story?
It is important to choose a good time and a place where your child feels safe. If possible, have the conversation with your partner and agree in advance who will say what. Now, it is not about you, but about your child and his or her reaction and feelings.
By having the conversation together, you show the child that you are still able to make decisions together. In addition, children might think that it is their fault. Be clear about this and indicate that the child cannot do anything about it. Also discuss the changes that will take place in the short term, whether one of the parents will move and how often the child will see him or her.
End the conversation by asking for your kids’ opinion. Make sure that all children can express their emotions and opinions. It is important to remain calm yourself, regardless of your child’s reaction. Let him or her know that you are there for him or her.
Besides the fact that it is very important to pay a lot of attention to your children, other things must also be arranged. For example, contact arrangements will have to be made. Here you determine with your partner who will take care of the children and how often the other parent will see the child. In addition, agreements must be made about the distribution of holidays and public holidays.
Think carefully about the agreements you make with each other. When co-parenting, both parents see the children equally. It is also important that both parents continue to get along with each other. In the most ideal picture, you manage to make agreements about how to interact with your children. You can engage a mediator for this or a lawyer if you cannot work it out together.
Once you have established a clear relationship, maintenance is the next point to be discussed. Who is going to take care most of the children? Will it be you or your ex-partner? Each of you has to pay a piece of child support. The amount depends mainly on the access arrangements and your income.
Lastly, you must record all agreements made regarding the education of your child in a parenting plan. You also need to lay down the agreements regarding handling and child maintenance. In the event of a divorce or joint authority, a parenting plan is mandatory. By putting the agreements on paper, you both know where you stand as a parent. This also applies to your children.