Family mechanics can be difficult and fragile, whether you’re still married or you’re in the process of getting a divorce.
As a parent, marriage and divorce can be even more fragile processes than they would be without children. Of course, divorce can be a difficult process no matter who you are, and every divorce is different depending on the situation at hand and the people involved, but there are lots of ways you can learn to protect yourself and your children, all while helping everything go as smoothly as possible.
As a mom getting a divorce, you might feel like everything is in a tailspin — not only do you have your kids to care for, but you also have yourself to look after both emotionally and practically, and that can be a lot to handle for anybody.
From taking care of your finances to taking care of your emotions, there are a few things that you can learn to help your divorce go as smoothly as possible.
While of course, every family is different, here are a few things every mom should know when getting a divorce.
You Don’t Always Need Court
When it comes to getting divorced, the first thing people often picture a courtroom and a judge making all of the decisions when it comes to child custody, assets and legal stipulations.
Even though many divorces do end up in court — when people disagree on child custody — when both parties agree on a variety of things, there is ample opportunity to settle disputes outside of the courtroom, which can save both of you lots of time, effort and money.
Protect Your Assets
While, of course, getting divorced can be a simple process for those who are civil with their ex-spouse, you should always protect yourself and your assets no matter what.
Make sure any of your personal savings and possessions are secure if you have them, and try to work out agreements that split things fairly.
Everything from real estate to kids’ college funds can technically be considered assets, though there are other things that can enter grey areas — such as life insurance in some states and certain physical properties like collectibles.
If possible, working together to help one another out and form stable relationships for the kids can be best both for you and your children — and your ex, too.
Of course, divorce is never easy, but recognizing that you are still a family can sometimes make things a bit more stable — as long as it is logical and safe to do so.
Set New Boundaries
However, even if you are remaining a family and trying to work together, boundaries are often the key to healthy relationships.
Even married couples have boundaries with one another — or at least, they should. With a changing relationship, that opens opportunities for new boundaries that fit everyone better.
And if boundaries were an issue before, now is the perfect time to create some.
Lean On Your Support System
It takes a village to raise a child, and you might find you need that village more than ever before. Lean on your support system when you realize you need help.
Ask your friends and family to help you with little tasks around the house and moving — even the occasional babysitting job. People who love you will be happy to help.
Look, you’re getting divorced for a reason. You probably do have some less-than-ideal things to say about your ex. However, if your children still have a healthy and functioning relationship with their other parent, bad-mouthing them to your kids is never a good idea.
You need safe spaces to vent, and when that’s the case, seek out trusted friends or family members you can turn to.
But talking badly about your kids’ parent to them can sometimes complicate their relationship with their other parent, which isn’t fair to the kids.
You don’t have to feel all warm and fuzzy about them, but remember, you are the adult, and you need to act like it.
Learn to Be Single
This can be one of the hardest parts of divorce. As a mom, this might actually be easier for you than it is for other recently divorced people, because you have a family and kids — people in your life that you love and enjoy being around.
Whether you eventually want to date again or plan on staying single for a while, learning to be single after a divorce is one of the best ways to get comfortable with yourself and your life again.
Thriving After Divorce
Each family is unique, and each divorce situation is, too. Whether you settle things outside of court and keep working together to co-parent or things get a little rougher in the process, you can set new boundaries, lean on your support system and keep the loving spirit of your family going.