While going through any divorce or other change to your family dynamic will create change, when you go through a divorce with children, there are many considerations in not only getting through your divorce, but in being able to thrive after the divorce. What are the challenges you will experience as a single parent? How will life feel different after you get your divorce completed?
You Have to Figure out How to Recover from Emotional Pain
Many parents going through a divorce have to process and understand what occurred in their marriage, as well as to find healing and forgiveness toward your ex. If the two of you have children together, it is crucial to you being the best possible parent you can be that you find healing, forgiveness and peace with one another. If you do not the feelings of hurt, anger and betrayal will not lift and will almost certainly continue to be displayed- and felt- by your children and they don’t deserve that. Some people are able to process through their feelings and hurt with the help of close family or friends, but many more people require the assistance of a professional licensed counselor and some therapy to work through the emotional injuries they have endured.
How Can you Be the Best Possible Single Parent After a Divorce?
The best thing you can do for your children is put aside or work through your own feelings so you can set an example for your children of continuing through with life with strength, resiliency and happiness. Set your sights on leading your children through the divorce process with grace and dignity. Make sure in the midst of your hurt and grief about the loss of your marriage or relationship that you don’t fail to see how the situation is affecting your children!
Reassure your children! Make sure they know that you will continue to be present for them, protect them, love them, and care for them in the same fashion that you have always. The more that you and your ex can commit to having a healthy divorce process and post-divorce co-parenting or cooperative relationship, the more peace you will ultimately bring to your children. Make sure your children know that you are always available to talk with, support and give them a hug. If the children have questions or are not certain what has occurred, try to give them enough generalized information that they can feel secure and confident in their future.
How Should You Deal with Dating a New Partner?
Some parents feel uncomfortable following divorce and are not interested in starting new relationships after divorce. Other parents are excited at the prospect of starting to search for a new relationship. Don’t allow yourself to become intimidated by the process, but rather focus on just getting out to have some fun. You may (or may not) immediately meet a forever future partner, but you can enjoy some quality adult time and begin to realize and rank the qualities you may be looking for in a new partner.
Make sure you’re sensitive to your children and their needs as you move forward. If your children need you and are hurting over the idea of their parents moving forward with other romantic relationships then you might need to shield the children from meeting a new partner for a longer period of time. Make sure you continue to realistically think about and consider your children’s needs as you try to meet your own needs in moving forward.
How Should You Deal With Continued Problems in Co-parenting and a Difficult Ex-Spouse?
In many situations, one spouse tends to be responsible, focused on the children, solution-oriented, with a deep desire to solve the problems of the divorce, the relationship between the co-parents and be able to move forward in a healthy, productive way. Often, the other parent is struggling to some degree or considerably and is unable to proceed as a kind, helpful and responsible co-parent.
If the other parent is unable to act reasonably, communicate, and cooperate, you can certainly avail yourself of efforts to use communication tools (such as Our Family Wizard), a co-parenting therapist if needed or other efforts to allow for a more smooth, successful co-parenting relationship, but in the end, if the other parent will not be cooperative and reasonable, you may face the need to return to court to inform the court that the current parenting arrangements simply are not workable due to the behavior and actions of the opposing party. Often in situations such as this, the parties have disagreements about custody, their exercise of parenting time, child support, sharing of expenses, and even finalizing/concluding their property division.
If you are dealing with a difficult and uncooperative ex-spouse, after availing yourself of reasonable efforts to get the co-parenting relationship back on track, it may be time to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney to assist you in developing a plan to address the difficult relationship and person you are dealing with. At Pingel Family Law, we often consult with clients, sometimes over a period of months or even years to try to provide you with strategies to address the issues you are dealing with in trying to co-parent with a problematic ex-spouse. Call (816) 208-8130 to see how we can assist you.