Divorce with Children
A divorce ends a marriage and all direct legal relationships between the couple, except those specifically written out in the divorce decree or judgement. Such issues as spousal support, parenting arrangements, support of children, division of property and payment of debts may be addressed in a written agreement. When both parties agree on these issues, the divorce is “uncontested.”
To obtain a divorce, one or both parties (depending on options available in your state) will file all required paperwork with the appropriate court, beginning with a petition (or complaint) for divorce. A divorce is granted by a judge after the necessary paperwork has been submitted, all required waiting periods have lapsed and all appearances before the judge are completed. In some cases it is not necessary to be physically present in the court to get a divorce.
How to Talk About Divorce with Your Children
While ending any marriage is stressful, a divorce with children can be particularly worrying. In addition to divorce paperwork preparation, parents are worried about how to tell the kids. While there is no way to shield the children from the painful truth (they have to know) the manner in which you break the news can impact their reaction and how they cope with it. Here are some useful tips.
Talking to Children About Divorce
- While ending any marriage is stressful, a divorce with children can be particularly worrying. In addition to divorce paperwork preparation, parents are worried about how to tell the kids. While there is no way to shield the children from the painful truth (they have to know) the manner in which you break the news can impact their reaction and how they cope with it. Here are some useful tips.
- Meet as a family. It is preferable that both parents are present to talk about the divorce with their children. The kids need to know that their relationship with both their parents will continue (if possible).
- Plan what to say. Divorce can be a confusing as well as frightening time for the kids. Understanding also differs according to age so it important to plan what you are going to say. Remember to reassure them of your love and that the separation is not their fault.
- Answer their questions. Children may have questions and it is important to take them seriously. Mostly they will want to know why you are getting divorced and what the new arrangement will change for them (e.g. living arrangements, whether they will get to see both parents, etc.) Take the time to explain things, individually if necessary.
- Help them express their feelings. Anger and sadness are both natural reactions to divorce. Let them know that it is okay to express their feelings but channel it through positive activities. Check inappropriate behavior by showing them how to resolve frustration and conflict without aggression.
Divorce paperwork preparation can be confusing as there are many different types of forms to fill. These included divorce with children or without, no-fault, uncontested, etc. You must fill out the appropriate form for your situation. Do it correctly, completely and within the given time frame. Further, each state has its own requirements.
We The People offers assistance with divorce paperwork preparation. We are not attorneys but can provide you with trustworthy resources and guidance in the required areas.
If it is a divorce with children involved, or you own property jointly with your spouse, the two parties must come to an agreement or settlement as to who will receive what after the divorce is finalized. Meeting with a professional can take away the stress and confusion and help you work confidently towards quick and smooth resolution.
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