Why the divorce settlement is just the first step for parents and what to do about it

If you have children and you are going through a divorce then you will be having a tough time. Trying to work out how you will supporting yourself financially, how much of your income you will have to give away, how much of your ex’s income you will gain and how and when you will be spending precious time with your children is not easy.

Mixed into all the practicalities are the emotions that you will be experiencing. For many people these emotions will fluctuate wildly as you have good days and bad days and different situations arise. However, concern for your children and your relationship with your children will be at the forefront of your mind.

No matter what age your children are, having children with someone ties you into each other’s lives. However the divorce turns out this is just the first step in a very long road of resolving parenting issues and making decisions with your ex.

As your children grow they will change and new situations will arise. Together you will need to decide on schools, work on their discipline and negotiate holidays together. Later on your children may be overwhelmed with homework and not want to divide their lives up in the same way between parents and you may need to decide on a new plan. Then there will be deciding the boundaries of the first romantic relationships, supporting them through university and then support in the adult world. No one wants divorced, bickering parents at their wedding, your children won’t want this.

It will not only be your children that change. You may receive a promotion that will involve you relocating, you may find a new partner that will change your financial situation and you may need to renegotiate financial support terms. There are limitless things that will arise between two parents once they have divorced. The divorce terms are just the start of your journey.

Knowing this may be terrifying during the divorce as your feelings towards your ex may be cripplingly unpleasant. However, if you and your ex choose to divorce through mediation rather than the family law courts you will pave the way for a more amicable and peaceful future.

Mediation

Mediation is not only better in the short term, in terms of finances and an empowered settlement, but in the long term you will learn the skills you need to negotiate and reach a fair decision with your ex.

Realising that you can be in the same room and communicate effectively is a real break through for many people, although not always an easy one. As each little change in circumstance or situation arises, anything from a below average school report to relocating to a different country will be easier to deal with when you have rational communication.

You will also have the security blanket of falling back on mediation, knowing that it is an effective method if you can’t resolve a situation privately.

No one knows what the future will bring, but it is certain that you and your ex will need to communicate in order to raise happy and grounded children. The sooner you learn to communicate after your split the better and mediation will teach you everything that you need to know.

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