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How Can You Plan for a Divorce with Children?

Posted by Lee Zavatsky | Mar 02, 2023

If you have decided to get a divorce and children are involved, you will need to do some advanced planning. Preparing for divorce with kids will typically include additional emotional and financial stress. Putting your children through a life-changing situation will never be easy and usually require family support. There will be an adjustment period for everyone.

While spouses are trying to reach a divorce settlement agreement, they are also attempting to balance high emotions with making crucial decisions that can impact their kid's life, which is challenging.

Plan for a Divorce with Children

A parent's attitude and effort can significantly impact their children as they are placing them in a situation where they must stay in two separate locations.

This means advanced preparation for a California divorce is essential. Often, when soon-to-be former spouses are in the middle of divorce proceedings, working together becomes challenging.

What your children will need when the divorce ends is a top priority. Still, many couples are so overwhelmed that they do not accurately identify their kid's needs and fail to plan for the years ahead adequately. As a parent, you must take the time to closely examine their current and upcoming needs as they age and mature.

Planning is vital to ensure your children have all they need at the different stages of their life. It's not easy, but crucial to your child's future well-being.

Simply put, when you take the time to identify your family's needs and goals in advance, you are more likely to succeed. This means taking a proactive approach toward planning for life after the divorce has been finalized. The terms in the final divorce settlement are crucial. Let's review this subject in more detail below.

How Can Parents Plan for a Contested Divorce?

Planning for divorce with children means a laser focus on their best interests. As a result, most parents are willing to make significant personal and financial sacrifices for their kids.

Unfortunately, some spouses will lose their focus on their children's best interests in the middle of a heated debate over the terms of a divorce settlement.

A publicly and openly litigated divorce battle is harder on the kids. In addition, it can have significant psychological issues for parents and children—the less fighting between parents, the less stress on the kids.

Planning for a contested divorce is not easy, but possible. If one parent is abusive or an addict, it will impact the parent-child relationship and divorce proceedings. So, let's review some crucial information you should know below:

  • Protecting the kids is always a top priority;
  • Don't fight in front of the kids;
  • Document spouses' misconduct;
  • You should expect unreasonable behavior;
  • Call the police if necessary;
  • Obtain a restraining order if necessary.

Suppose your spouse has a history of documented child abuse or drug addiction that could endanger your children. In that case, you should do whatever is necessary to protect them from harm.

Contested Divorce in California

This includes challenging equal parenting time or requesting supervised visitation. While a contested divorce with children complicates the process, proper planning and preparation can make it easier.

In a high-conflict divorce, you should expect your spouse to act unreasonably and makes plans to deal with it. Suppose they will not agree on any parenting plan. In that case, you might have to request an order. You should expect to go through the litigation process with your family law attorney.

I think it would be a good idea to document the other parent's misconduct. Keep a record of texts and emails that could be used later in court. Document any threats of other incidents of bad behavior. Finally, keep a journal of their parenting time.

If you have a court order and the other parent is in violation, consider calling the police, but only if necessary. However, if a parent regularly violates child custody, please consult your lawyer about pursuing a contempt of court.

How Can You Reduce Stress on Your Children During Divorce?

There are some ways you can reduce the stress on your kids during and after the divorce. One of the most obvious ways is to plan time with the kids for fun activities intentionally they will enjoy.

Exploring ways to bring your children laughter should be a priority on your daily list. Play fun board games or watch comedy movies with them. There is nothing more valuable than personal time with your children.

How Can You Reduce Stress on Your Children During Divorce?

It would be best if you learned how to co-parent, which involves effective communication and working closely with your former spouse in a manner that's in the kid's best interest. This involves the best decisions for your children's health, safety, education, and well-being.

In other words, you need to find a way to become a disciplined and responsible co-parent, not a selfish, self-centered parent who does not prioritize their children's best interests.

Divorce with children means you must be fully engaged and dedicated to making your child's life as simple as possible with minimal disruption to the routine. Consider child therapy if you feel it's necessary.

It would be best to remain flexible and willing to modify a parenting plan when necessary, especially with teenagers. Simply put, advanced planning for a divorce when you have children is critical to reducing stress.

An experienced California family law lawyer can help you get through this challenging period more easily. You can contact our Certified Family Law Specialist for a free case evaluation by phone or using the contact form. Furman & Zavatsky are Los Angeles divorce and family law attorneys providing legal representation across Southern California.

About the Author

Lee Zavatsky

Lee Zavatsky is a partner at Furman & Zavatsky, a law firm dedicated to the practice of Family Law. Mr. Zavatsky has been selected as one of the Top 40 Under 40 by The National Trial Lawyers, a professional organization composed of the top trial lawyers from each state or region who are under the...

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