Anyone who’s been through it knows that a divorce can get downright ugly. Sometimes you and your former spouse may be able to keep things amicable enough and if you do fall into that category- great. Do what you can to keep it that way.
It’s especially important to keep this mindset when there are children involved. Badmouthing your former spouse, even though it may feel right at the time, is not okay to do in front of your children. You’re giving them the wrong impression and this could negatively affect your relationship with them in the future. But what are other ways that divorce affects children? And are there really alternatives to getting a divorce, aside from the obvious?
To answer the second part of it, the most obvious alternative to a divorce is repairing your marriage. But if this is not a solution for you, or if you’ve already tried this route, than please continue reading on. We’ll talk about one of the main alternatives to divorce after we talk about how your divorce is affecting your children.
Effects of divorce on children
According to studies, the children of a divorced couple often take the blame on themselves as the reason why their parents need separation. Some kids tend to think that they are the ones responsible for the failed marriage, thus, resulting to stress and anxiety.
One of the most notable effects of divorce on children is the sudden change of attitude towards activities and friends that they enjoy before.
In addition, divorce can also cause detrimental effects to a child’s perspective on relationship and marriage. Some children may regard divorce as a betrayal of their patients, hence, compelling them to be afraid and withdrawn from building or developing future relationships. Also, children of a divorced couple often find it hard to trust anyone as they grow up.
Deciding to cooperate for their sake will help to protect the children’s emotional well being by maintaining their sense of security and need for unconditional love.
Marital breakdown is difficult for everyone – especially children.
There are several ways in which loving, responsible parents can cooperate for the good of their children. Even though the marriage may have broken down, the parental relationship is ’till death do us part’.
Lessening the effects of divorce on children
It is really up to the parents how they want to make the situation easier for their children. For starters, it is important for separated couple to have their children understand that the divorce is not, in any means, their fault. Another important thing is that the children know that they are safe, secured, and loved by their parents even if they are not together as a family anymore.
Divorced parents should also always be around or available for their children every time they are needed. When it comes to the welfare of the children, the separated couple should still work together in providing for their kids’ emotional and financial needs.
Children should not witness hostility between their parents and should not hear negative statements about either parent. It is recommended that parents commit to regularly scheduled meetings, in a neutral location for the purpose of discussing child-related issues.
Role of a child specialist
In the process of divorce, collaborative lawyers may suggest to their clients the need for the children to have a child specialist who will basically act as the children’s voice and guide in the entire duration of the divorce process. A child specialist is the one responsible in explicitly explaining the role and rights of the children.
Having a child therapist helps in the sense that the children will not be caught in between their parents during the process of the divorce. Choosing between two adults is hard for any kid. Having a child specialist in the process can also help minimize the emotional difficulties of the children as they cope to accept and try to live a normal life despite having a broken family.
As children mature, their questions will differ so the issue of their parents’ divorce is never really over. A commitment on behalf of both parents to open communication with the children will reassure them greatly.
How Divorce Effects Your Child’s Behavior
We know what it does to a child. It makes them change. They develop certain types of behavior that are typical of a child living in a divorcing or divorced household.
* Antisocial behavior – Your child withdraws from his (or her) friends or from activities that he once loved.
* Disruptive behavior – A child may get into trouble at school, starting fights, talking back and generally being annoying to others.
* Depression – Children become moody, short-tempered, and argumentative, the opposite of whom they were before this all began. They may experience nightmares and distrust of those close to them.
Is there really an alternative to a divorce?
When your marriage is falling apart, sometimes it may seem that the only solution is to get a divorce.
Navigating the world of divorce can be a tricky one.
When you decide to end your marriage you need to determine what the best course of action is. One of the questions you will likely be asking yourself is whether it’s better to have a legal separation or a divorce. To determine that, you’ll need to figure out the difference between a legal separation and divorce and what the pros and cons of each will be. Then you will be able to better determine what the best course of action is for you.
Basically legal separation is when you live apart, but legally you remain married. You still need to go to court and work out things like the separation of property or child custody and child support. You can get a legal separation, but if down the road you do decide that divorce is the answer, then you will have to go to court to legally absolve the marriage.
Is Legal Separation a Viable Alternative to Divorce for You?
But why would anyone be legally separated rather than divorced if you’re going to have everything that you have with divorce, just not actually legally be divorced? Well, there are actually many reasons. Here are some:
* Couples sometimes oppose divorce for moral or religious reasons so they will see a legal separation as a way to get around that.
* If a spouse is about to become legally eligible for another spouse’s government benefits (social security) then they might want to legally remain married for those benefits.
* For health insurance benefit reasons. If you are legally divorced then you can lose health benefits, so couples will remain legally married just to maintain those health insurance benefits.
* For tax benefits. Couples will see a reason financially to receive such tax breaks to remain legally married even if they aren’t actually still living together.
* Sometimes couples think that time apart might fix whatever marital problems they may have. So they might still be working on their marriage, but feel they can’t do that while still living together.
* You are not eligible for divorce due to a state law which requires you to reside in it for a certain amount of time before you can legally file for divorce. However, you can’t remain living together so a legal separation is the best answer for you.
* Legal separations can sometimes be less stressful to negotiate than a divorce, so sometimes couples just opt to go that route.
A legal separation isn’t the answer for everyone who is going through a rough time in their marriage and is looking to end it, but divorce isn’t always the answer either.
A couple needs to determine what’s best for them based on financial obligations and moral and religious beliefs. Take these issues into consideration, and discuss with your spouse what the best course of action will be for the both of you when you are deciding to end a marriage.
Speak with an attorney about your options.
While you might be staying legally married to get social security benefits, there might be some fine print which will exclude a legally separated spouse from receiving these benefits. A lawyer can help you figure out if a legal separation will protect your benefits or not; learn more here. So don’t try to navigate these legal proceedings alone.
So while it may not seem like a true alternative to getting a divorce; for financial reasons a legal separation may be your best bet. A legal separation is the best thing to do in the last stages of couples not getting along. It can be a way of taking a break and finding out what each party wants. There is no reason to rush into getting divorce for some people and it is a decision that has to be well thought out just as the marriage should have been.
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