Shared expenses: How to keep It Simple

Shared expenses

Children are expensive; there’s no denying that fact. And one of the major challenges of coparenting can be keeping track of all of the miscellaneous expenses that are involved and making sure that you are able to share that information with the other parent and make sure everything gets paid. If you’re confused on what expenses are considered shared expenses, aren’t sure when or how you need to notify the other parent of an expense, or are having trouble keeping track of everything, we’ve got the answers and some tools to help.

Types of Shared Expenses

When you’re trying to figure out what expenses are considered shared expenses, the first thing to do is to consult your custody agreement. How shared expenses are supposed to be handled is usually listed in those documents. A few of the most common types of shared expenses are covered below:

  • Medical expenses: Medical expenses are the most common type of shared expense in a copareting situation, and this is one that is almost always listed in either the custody agreement or the child support documents. In many cases, these expenses are split 50/50, but if there is a large income disparity the order may specify a different percentage, such as 80/20. These expenses are usually paid for by the primary residential parent, and then, the other parent has to reimburse the residential parent for their portion.
  • Dental expenses: These are sometimes covered under the umbrella of medical expenses, but certain dental expenses such as orthodontia are handled separately.
  • Extracurriculars: Things like gymnastics lessons, summer camp, school sports fees, and sports uniform costs all fall under the extracurricular umbrella. Extracurriculars are usually not specifically mentioned in court documents and are addressed via agreement by the two parents. In some cases, this may mean reimbursing one parent, but sometimes, both parents are able to just pay their portion directly to the provider.
  • Private school tuition: If the children are already attending a private school before the divorce, this will likely be included in the custody documents as to how the expense will be paid for in the future. If you decide to put your children in private school after the divorce, it’s a good idea to put how the expense will be divided added into the official paperwork because this is usually tens of thousands of dollars over the course of their education.
  • School supplies, clothes, and other miscellaneous expenses: These smaller expenses are ones that parents often don’t think about when going through the divorce process, but they can add up over time. Most of these expenses will be ones that you work out an agreement on who will pay what or what portion with the other parent.

In general, only things that are specifically listed in your custody documents as shared expenses will qualify in a court setting. You may still be able to agree with the other parent that you will split some things, but if they change their minds or don’t pay you back for something, it’s generally not enforceable in court unless it’s an expense covered in the order.

Guidelines for Notifying the Other Parent

In a coparenting situation, there are often times when only one parent is present for a situation that creates an expense. For example, if the residential parent has to take the child to urgent care for an illness, the other parent may not be able to be present and will need to be notified after the fact. How and when you need to notify the other parent of shared expenses might be outlined in your court documents, but if not, here are some possible options:

  • Immediate: If you have a very good coparenting relationship with easy communication and agreement, it may make the most sense to just immediately let the other parent know about an expense so they can reimburse you or pay their part directly as soon as possible. However, this can create a lot of back and forth, especially in the case of multiple children.
  • Monthly: Some parents prefer to cover expenses on a monthly basis. They may meet to present receipts and reconcile who owes who what after everything is calculated for the month. This also may make it easier for both parents to pay their parts of extracurricular fees or classes directly to the provider when the monthly bill is due.
  • Quarterly: If you don’t have great communication with the other parent and have the finances to be able to wait for reimbursement, a quarterly settlement may be a good option. You can either submit expenses as they come in or all at once at the end of the quarter, and then, the other parent usually has a certain amount of time to repay.

Another thing to consider when thinking about how and when to notify the other parent is how to present receipts. It’s generally best to submit photocopies of detailed receipts that include which child the expense was for, how much it was, who it was paid to and the date. This ensures that the other parent has everything they need to repay you or to pay the provider directly, and it also ensures you have documentation of the expense if you need to present it to the courts.

Simplifying Shared Expenses

Once you know what expenses you should be sharing with the other parent and how often you’re going to be dealing with receipts and reimbursements, it’s time to work on your method. While physical copies and checks can give you a paper trail, it’s also hard to keep track of everything and know what has been paid and what hasn’t at a glance. This is where a tool like 2houses comes in.

2houses’ finance tool was designed to give you all of the information you need in an easy-to-read manner, and it lets you handle everything from reimbursement requests to payments all within the app. It also has a variety of reporting tools either parent can use to break down expenses by things like category or time period. Here are just a few of the ways using a coparenting app like 2houses can help:

  • At-a-glance balance management: The app is set up so that you can see a balance summary at any time. This makes it easy for either parent to always know what’s been paid and what’s outstanding without having to go back and forth with the other parent.
  • In-app payments: 2houses has the capability for payments to be made in the app. This ensures that the balance is always correct and you don’t have to update anything when payments come in, and it also provides a record of payment if needed.
  • Wishlist feature: If you and the other parent are splitting expenses like birthday gifts or new clothes, the wishlist feature makes it easy to suggest what your child might want or need. This also comes in handy for the other parent’s side of the family if they need gift ideas or suggestions.
  • The ability to categorize expenses: You can tag expenses to be within certain categories, so it’s immediately clear what the money was spent for. This can also help you budget moving forward for recurring expenses. For example, if you are able to see that you usually have about $1,000 in medical expenses per child per year, this makes it easier for both parents to be able to see that and budget for their portion.
  • Exporting capabilities: While it can be helpful to have everything online where you can access it from any device, there may be times when you need paper copies. An example of this is when you need to show the courts or the child support enforcement agency proof of expenses. 2houses lets you do both CSV and PDF exports for flexibility.

Whether you’re just starting your coparenting journey and trying to make it as easy as possible or are trying to streamline expenses and communication after a few years, 2houses’ coparenting app and finance tracker can help. The key to successful coparenting is open and frequent communication, but being able to access everything with just a few clicks makes a big difference in ensuring that expenses are reported and reimbursed quickly.

Creating a 3-3-4-4 Schedule – a 50/50 Custody Agreement

Creating a 3-3-4-4 Schedule

Filing for divorce can be one of the most difficult events that occur in a person’s life, and it is only made more stressful and emotional when children are involved. Coming up with a co-parenting schedule that works for your kids, your spouse, and you is absolutely essential when your children are going to be spending time with both parents.

There are an endless number of options when it comes to 50/50 co-parenting schedules. However, no matter what you end up choosing, you want to make sure that you are organized and that the schedule is well-communicated between both parents.

Are you interested in creating a 3-3-4-4 schedule but aren’t quite sure if it’s the right method for you and your family?

Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

How 3-3-4-4 Schedules Work

When sharing custody of children, you want to create a schedule that prioritizes the needs of the children while also being practical for co-parents.

This is a 50/50 residential schedule. It has your child or children staying with one parent for three days of the week and then the other parent for the next three days. Then, the child stays with the first parent for four days before staying with the other parent for the next four days.

What this does is creates an equal amount of time spent with each parent over a two-week period. You can make different variations on this schedule, having a 4-3-3-4 schedule, a 3-4-3-4 schedule, a 4-3-4-3 schedule, and so on.

Creating a 3-3-4-4 Schedule

You can start a 3-3-4-4 schedule on whatever day of the week makes the most sense for you and your family. If you start on a Monday, then one of the weekends is split between the parents while the other is entirely spent with one parent. The same is true if you start the schedule on Sunday.

It’s important to be organized when it comes to creating parental schedules. The easiest way to make sure everyone understands the plan for the week or month is to use an online interactive calendar. This can help parents manage changes to the schedule without any time conflicts.

What Are the Pros and Cons of This Type of Schedule For Custody?

There are a lot of different 50/50 split custody models you can use to design your schedule. With each of them, there are some benefits and some drawbacks. Depending on your schedule and the schedule of your co-parent, as well as the schedule and needs of the child, one of these types of custody schedules might be more appropriate for your family.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of a 3-3-4-4 schedule:

  • Every week parents have the same nights with the children except for one night a week that switches
  • Each week, children are able to spend a significant amount of time with both parents
  • Both parents get to spend an equal amount of time with the children
  • The number of exchanges is minimized compared to other schedule models
  • Both parents have the opportunity to participate in daily caretaking
  • This can be a schedule that works well for parents who have different work schedules
  • The children never have to go very long without seeing either of their parents

On the flip side, there are some things that might make this scheduling model less appealing to you and your family. Some of the cons are:

  • It can work out that one parent has the children staying with them every weekend
  • The children have to be able to adapt to living in two separate houses during the same week
  • Co-parents need to be able to communicate about both the schedule and the children frequently
  • Co-parents need to have good communication about both the activities and the schoolwork of the child because there is a midweek exchange
  • Both parents need to live close to the children’s school and fairly close to one another for this schedule to be practical

When you are creating a custody schedule, you will want to take a look at the work schedule of both you and your co-parent. At the same time, you will need to consider the school and activity schedule for your child. This information can help guide you to choose a schedule that best supports your child and allows both parents to spend time with the children.

(Are you experiencing anxiety as a co-parent? If so, check out these five tips to help you cope with your anxiety.)

Different 50/50 Schedules For Custody

If this custody schedule doesn’t seem right for your family, there are a number of other options. You might find that some of the other choices offer more benefits for the needs of your family, while others might be completely inapplicable to your situation.

Alternating Weeks

In this model, your child spends a week with you and another week with your co-parent. Depending on your schedule, this can be an easy to keep track of schedule that minimizes exchanges. It also allows your children to spend an entire week in each house, which might help them feel more settled and centered.

Some of the pros of alternating weeks with children include:

  • Each parent gets to spend a long period of time with the kids
  • The exchanges are limited
  • The amount of time each parent has with the children is equal
  • It can provide consistency for your kids, particularly if they find change difficult
  • You can add overnight or midweek visits so that your children can still see the other parent during the week
  • It can help your children stay current on homework and other school assignments

On the negative side, the alternating week schedule means that:

  • Both parents will need to live near to the school if the children are school-aged
  • Some children might find it difficult and uncentering to have two different homes
  • Both parents need to live fairly close to one another
  • Parents will need to be in good and frequent communication about the children’s activities and school work
  • It can be difficult for both the children and the parents to be apart from their kids for a week at a time

If you like the idea of minimizing exchanges for a 50/50 custody schedule, continue reading to learn about an every two-week schedule.

(Are you confused about what expenses legally have to be shared after you get divorced? Check out this resource to learn everything you need to know.)

Two Weeks Each

This is similar to the previous model except that the children spend two weeks with each parent. Some of the pros of this model include:

  • Parents can limit the amount of contact they have with each other
  • The number of exchanges is limited each month
  • It can be a good solution in high-conflict situations
  • The parenting time is equal which can lead to fewer schedule conflicts
  • The children have the opportunity to live with each parent for an extended period of time
  • Parents don’t have to live as close to one another as with schedules with more frequent exchanges
  • You can add in overnight or midweek visits if desired
  • Both parents have the opportunity to participate in the daily care of the children

On the other hand, some of the downsides of this model can include:

  • Parents who have children that are school-age need to both live near the school
  • Some children and parents might struggle to be apart for two weeks at a time
  • The children have to adapt to having two different residences
  • Parents have to communicate and cooperate about the children

If spending this amount of time apart just isn’t going to work for you, let’s check out some of the schedules that break up each week with both parents getting to spend time with the kids.

2-2-5-5 Schedule

This is a schedule where the children spend two days with one parent, two days with the other, five with the first parent, and then five with the second parent. This means that over a two-week period they spend the same amount of time with the children.

This can be good in a number of ways. For one, it allows the kids to spend time with both of their parents during each week. It means that they never have to go a long time without seeing either of their parents and that the parents can have equal time with the kids over the course of the month.

Many people who have nontraditional work schedules find this to be a fitting schedule. It can also work well for children who are young enough to not be in school yet.

Some of the drawbacks include having frequent exchanges that can be difficult to keep track of and might not be ideal in high-conflict situations. This schedule also means that one parent might end up having the kids every weekend.

2-2-3 Schedule

Another schedule that can work with unusual working hours is the 2-3-3 schedule. This allows kids to spend time with each parent during a typical week and means they never have to go too long without seeing either parent.

This model requires frequent exchanges, however. Some children might not adapt well to switching homes on such a regular basis, as it can be hard to ever feel settled in or centered.

Alternating Every Two Days

This is another schedule that might work for some while not being appropriate for other families. While children never have to go long without seeing either parent, it might be hard for them to adapt to switching homes so frequently. Dealing with the logistics of exchanges so often can also be difficult and time-consuming.

How Do You Choose the Right 50/50 Schedules For Custody?

There are a lot of things you’ll want to take into account when you are sharing custody of children evenly. You will want to honestly consider different aspects of your routine, your relationship with your co-parent, and the needs of your children.

For example, how many days are ideal between visits with your children? On the one hand, you don’t want to go too many days without seeing your child at a time, but you also want to minimize how frequently they are changing homes.

Additionally, how well do you and your co-parent communicate and get along? If you get along just great then you don’t have to worry about this aspect of things. However, if things tend to lean towards conflict, you might want to minimize how much communication and interaction is expected between the two of you as a part of your co-parenting.

You’ll also want to think about how consistent you want to keep the schedule. Is it better to have the same schedule every single week or better to spend the same weeks a month together? It’s important to consider this in conjunction with school, sports, and activities schedules.

Of course, you’ll also want to factor in the ages of your children and what will work best for them. Young children tend to do best with a consistent routine, while tweens and teens typically do better with schedules that allow them to stay in one place for longer at a time.

Schedules For Custody: How to Communicate About Custody in the Digital Age

Creating a 3-3-4-4 schedule can be an appropriate model for many co-parents who are splitting custody. It can allow both parents and children to spend time with each other each week while also minimizing exchanges and disruption to the home life of children.

No matter what schedule you choose, it’s important to have an easy way to make schedule changes and stay organized about your calendar. If you’re ready to minimize confusion and maximize organization and efficiency when it comes to your schedules for custody, check out 2houses today.

Scheduling 101: The Coparenting Calendar

Coparenting calendar

When your children are first born, it can feel like every little thing has to be kept track of, including feedings, diaper changes and how often they’re sleeping. As your children get older, you spend a lot less time tracking these types of things, but their schedules are busy in a different way. There are extracurricular activities, sports practice and games, school events and play dates. All of this is plenty when everyone is under the same roof, but it gets even more complicated when you have to share and manage all of this information between two separate households. Here are some tips on how to manage your coparenting calendar for an easier and more streamlined process.

Managing the Calendar

The first step in creating a coparenting calendar that works for your situation is to make a master list of everything you may need to share with the other parent. We’ve covered some of the most common activities and events below, but keep in mind that every situation is different. If your child regularly attends therapy, it’s a good idea for both parents to know when those appointments are. It can also be of benefit to have a daily schedule for young children that’s shared between the two parents so that their routines can be kept similar. This ensures that the children feel safe in both spaces and know what to expect.

Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities involve anything from sports and music lessons to debate team and theater. Even with young children, these activities can involve multiple practices a week as well as games, tournaments, and larger competitions. It’s likely that at least some of these activities will need to happen across both parents’ parenting time, so sharing schedules is important. It’s a good idea to ensure that the time, place, and supervising adult is listed on the event. A phone number for the coach or teacher is also a good idea in case you have trouble finding the location or are running late and need to be let into a building.

School Events

From tea with Mom and crazy hair day to Valentine’s boxes and birthday treats, having school-aged children comes with a lot of events and paperwork to keep track of. This can be especially challenging if you have a shared parenting schedule, such as one week on and one week off or 2-2-3 schedule. Sharing all of this information online through a data bank or shared calendar like 2houses offers can ensure everyone knows what’s coming no matter what house the kids are at that day, and it also makes it easier for you to keep track of everything when you can deal with digital information instead of endless paper fliers and notices.

Doctors Visits

Any kind of important appointment for your child should probably be on the shared coparenting calendar, but medical visits are especially important. Many custody agreements require both parents to be notified and to have the chance to be present at doctors visits, and putting it on the calendar as an event lets you do that without having to worry about whether the other parent remembers. You can also include other important information like the phone numbers and a summary of the visit if the parent isn’t able to attend so they can ask the practitioner any questions directly and request medical records.

Sharing Information With the Other Parent

When you’re starting to get everything together for your coparenting calendar, it might feel a little strange to be giving the other parent so much information about your life and where you’re going to be when. But unless there is a safety issue or a restraining order in place, it’s a good idea to think about it in terms of what’s best for the kids and what makes it easier on you. For example, if you have to deal with a lot of texts or calls from the other parent because they can’t remember when practice is or what building the parent teacher conference is in, providing all of that info in a digital format that they can check themselves can cut a lot of that back. It’s also a good way to ensure that everything is communicated in writing to cut down on he said she said situations.

When you’re getting information ready, try to stick to the facts and provide as much information as possible. It’s a good idea to cover all of these basics:

  • Who: Make sure to note which child is involved, which parent’s time the event is happening on and what other people are going to be there that they need to know about.
  • What: Note what the event is and what’s required, such as a uniform, musical instrument or homework assignment.
  • Where: Be as detailed as possible here, providing an exact address that can be put into a GPS and other information such as “Field A” or “Enter through Door 3.”
  • When: Provide start and end times if possible, or let the other parent know that it’s an all-day event so they can think about if they need to bring snacks or plan around other things.

Keeping Track of Information

A digital coparenting app is the gold standard when it comes to communicating the children’s schedules with the other parent, and 2houses has thought of everything you need when developing theirs. In addition to all of the other tools the app offers — from finance trackers to in-app messaging — the calendar has the following features:

  • Color-coded dates to show who has the children when at a glance: Keeping track of which parent the children are with is crucial to knowing who is going to be taking them to events. 2houses lets you automatically create a color-coded version of your custody schedule superimposed into the calendar based on popular schedule breakdowns, or you can create a custom schedule to fit your needs.
  • In-app schedule change requests: This feature lets you ask the parent for a change in the schedule, such as for a family event or holiday, so that there’s a record of the request, receipt of the request, and a record of the other parent’s response. It helps to have everything in writing and ready for documentation purposes if at any time anything has to go before a judge.
  • Import special dates: The calendar makes it easy to load all of your scheduling needs at once, with import features for things like school holidays and vacation schedules. This saves you time and decreases the possibility of input errors.
  • Syncing with most calendar applications: The 2houses calendar app can sync with most popular calendar applications, including Outlook and iCal, so you can have your own copy of the kids’ schedule in one place without having to share your personal information with the other parent or copy dates and events one by one.
  • Calendar sharing: If you need to share your calendar with a third party, such as an attorney, family member, or guardian ad litem, it’s as simple as just a few clicks.

If you’re looking for a way to simplify scheduling and know exactly what’s on the agenda for each day without having to talk to the other parent or make a bunch of phone calls, a coparenting calendar can help. Check out what 2houses has to offer to make the coparenting journey easier.

Attachment Styles and Parental Divorce: Everything You Need to Know

Parental divorce

The effects on children of parental divorce are perceptible. They often manifest as disruptions to previously established attachment styles. Intentional and conscious parenting aims to alleviate the unconscious pressure put on children of divorced parents.

After knowing what attachment styles are and how they can change after going through a divorce, you can parent more effectively to reduce psychological distress on your kids. There are preventative measures to take during the divorce to reduce effects. 

The relationship you have with your children before, during, and after the divorce will either reinforce their latent insecurities or comfort their securities. Keep reading to identify parental attachment styles and support your children through the divorce process. 

What Is Attachment Theory?

Attachment is the emotional or psychological bond one has to another person. Infants attach themselves naturally to their parental figures. Attachment is the way in which humans feel and grow their connection with one another. 

Connection is innate to the human condition. A healthy emotional relationship with parents translates to healthy relationships later in life.

According to attachment theory, the emotional response to a caretaker is partially developed for survival. When the primary caretaker is near, the more likely the child will have their needs met. They feel safe with the presence of their primary caregiver. 

In addition to survival, attachment style develops from how the child is being cared for. Attentiveness and nurturance influence attachment style. The ability to focus on and care for your child allows them to feel emotionally safe. This emotional safety is important for their psyche’s way of responding to the outer world. 

If a young one is not properly nurtured, it feels abandoned. This goes beyond having basic needs met. Humans are emotional creatures. Babies and kids need the space to receive love and assurance from their parents. 

Abandonment occurs when their needs have gone ignored. Babies who cry it out at night often feel abandoned. They stop crying because they have given up hope. They feel abandoned, so what is the point anyways?

Through their attachment and connection, they develop how safe they view the world. The kind of responsiveness you give them to their emotional needs shows them how the world will be. If you dismiss them, they feel abandoned. If you comfort and listen to them, they feel validated, important, and safe. 

The theory is a bit complicated. Older generations may not fully grasp the importance of nurturing children emotionally because they may not have been taught that themselves.

What Are The Attachment Styles?

The development that Bowlby and his successors came to find changes how parents can behave to give their kids the best chance at being successful later on. (Bowlby was the founder of Attachment theory).

Before learning ways to positively affect your children during the divorce process, being able to identify attachment styles is important.

Attachment styles are developed during the critical time period following postpartum. As nurturing and comforting behavior coincide with how safe a child will feel, these are the actions that determine a child’s attachment style. Responding to a child’s request for engagement with consistency and attentiveness leads to secure attachment. 

There are typically four types of attachments: ambivalent, avoidant, disorganized, and secure. 

Ambivalent attachment is caused by parents who are unavailable. Children display this by becoming extremely distressed after a parent has left. Children with ambivalent attachment cannot rely on their parental figures for security and safety. 

Avoidant attachment occurs when primary caretakers are neglectful and even otherwise abusive. Children tend to avoid them. They act indifferently in and without their presence. They do not prefer their primary caretaker over a stranger.

Disorganized attachment is seen in children whose parents are inconsistently available. They may sometimes be a source of love and comfort. At other times they may be a source for neglect and unavailability. Children with these types of parents become confused and disoriented. They can act resistant and avoidant when in the company of their caretaker.

Secure attachment is caused by dependable caretakers. Children become distressed when in their absence and joyous when reunited. They are typically wary of strangers. They are not afraid to find comfort with their caretaker and be assured they will return after they leave.

How Parental Divorce Influences Attachment Style 

While attachment styles develop as an infant, they can be revised when traumatic events occur. Kids of divorced parents go through a drastic change in the way they see the world post-divorce. All of a sudden, they are taught that not every couple stays together. 

This sudden instability can cause children to self-sabotage their own relationships. If they feel that all relationships are temporary, even serious ones, they unconsciously or intentionally ruin relationships. This occurs as an attempt to protect themselves from the inevitable fate that the relationship is doomed no matter what.

Their sense of safety is threatened by the added stress of change in living situations. Going back and forth between homes creates a sense of instability in their lives. So when a child may have previously had a secure attachment, this instability could spark a new attachment style.

Depending on how each parent acts, their behavior toward one parent may differ from the other. They may become more attached towards one parent and avoidant towards another. This is entirely dependent on how the divorce process and the time period before the divorce have been portrayed to them. 

When at different parents’ houses, there may be difficult rules to abide by. This results in children having to plan on how their needs will be met instead of having the reassurance that no matter where they are, they will get what they need.

This Is Not To Guilt Trip You

Yes, attachment theory and divorce have an intricate relationship with each other. It’s scary to think that this serious change in your life is affecting the emotional well-being of your kids for their potential futures. But, there are ways in which to avoid having extremely negative effects on your kids’ emotions. 

Parental divorce doesn’t have to be as traumatizing as possible. The way you handle presenting the divorce to your kids has an impact on how they will react emotionally. 

Most parents don’t plan on getting divorced. If it has come to the point where reconciliation is not possible, there are ways to show your kids that the divorce was the best possible outcome for the situation. 

If your kids are older, they may have seen and understood the reasoning for the divorce. They can understand that getting divorced is better than the alternative. Staying together while fighting, bickering, abusing each other, or just generally being unhappy doesn’t teach your kids a good lesson either. 

In fact, staying in a relationship where both parties are being neglected or mistreated teaches your children to settle. So, while a divorce is a hard process and affects your kids, so does the alternative. 

Take comfort in knowing you can actively influence how your kids respond emotionally to the divorce. 

Support Your Kids

Here are the ways that you can comfort your children before, during, and after the divorce. Having a solid emotional relationship with your kid is a good beginning.

If you don’t already have this foundation, find ways to establish one. Connect with your kids outside of the divorce. Be interested in their interests.

Just because you are all experiencing a life change doesn’t mean life has to always be negative. Find ways to find the good in the bad. Uplift each other’s spirits. Have one night where you do an activity to connect.

Planning out time for connection helps so that it doesn’t slip by. Kids appreciate attentiveness beyond infancy. If you are overwhelmed and caught up in your divorce, you might miss this time in your kids’ lives. 

Remember, they will never be the same age they are right now. Enjoy these precious moments with them.

Try having an open dialogue as a great way to share feelings. Do not leave your children to process the divorce by themselves. While they will go through their own experience on their own terms, you can help give them a safe place to feel their emotions. 

How to Consider Attachment While Going Through a Divorce

Encourage your household to have a safe environment to feel grief, pain, hurt, sadness, anger, and any other negative emotions. The only way to the other side of this difficult time is through. By not reprimanding the portrayal of negative emotions, your kids learn that it is perfectly okay to feel how they do.

Remember, this is how a change in attachment style could occur. If they do not feel safe and taken care of in their emotions, their attachment style will change.

If possible, maintaining a cordial relationship with your ex-partner will go a long way. Not all situations make this possible. Communicate with your ex-partner and be on the same terms as far as raising your kids goes. This accounts for any inconsistencies across households. 

Diminishing the number of inconsistencies in rules gives your kids a better chance at having their needs met no matter what.

Try having full transparency when it comes to divulging information to your kids. This honest line of communication helps build their trust levels. If your kids are young, they might not understand the dynamics leading to divorce.

Explaining things honestly gives them a chance at having that understanding. Not every detail needs to be uncovered. Approach telling the story in an unbiased way without sharing details that would harm them.

Don’t put all of the blame on the other spouse. Know that what you say about your ex influences your kids’ relationship with your ex.

Consider Family Therapy

With the emotional support given above, your kids should have a solid foundation to express emotions in a safe way. However, your situation might be more complicated. You may find it hard to manage your own emotions. 

It’s okay. This time is heightened with sensitivity. Seeking help through family therapy may be the thing you need.

Family therapy aims to provide a monitored setting for sharing feelings. Therapists can even see you as a group, but also one-on-one. Seeing family members individually allows people to open up more. 

The goal of family therapy is up to the family. Whatever area you are struggling with, you can work on. You can see a therapist with your ex to work on co-parenting. Or you can see a therapist with your children. 

Therapists help to start a conversation. They are good at asking questions to dive deeper. Kids may not understand their emotions during the divorce process. A therapist can guide them.

Therapists are familiar with attachment theory. They can help you come up with a plan to maintain secure attachments in your children. They can also spot signs of insecure attachments.

It’s nice to have a professional, objective lens. Family therapy isn’t for every family. But, it’s good for those who need additional support. 

You Are Not Alone

Remember that you are not alone. You are not the only people to experience divorce. You are lucky there is so much research on the effects of parental divorce. 

Utilize this research to your advantage. Encourage your children to use the blog linked below as well.

There’s a plethora of information on making everyone feel safe and comfortable during the divorce. For more advice on coping with divorce, check out our blog page.

How to Create an Alternating Custody Schedule for the Summer

Custody schedule for the summer

Couples who are getting married for the first time in the United States have a 50% chance of eventually getting divorced. At this point, the majority of American families have shifted away from being a unit made up of the original biologically connected father, mother, and child.

While divorce can be hard for everyone in the family, it can be particularly difficult for children. However, when co-parents choose to put the well-being of their children as the top priority, they can still have a supportive and loving family environment in which to grow up.

If you and your co-parent have existing custody arrangements, you might find that they don’t quite work once school ends and summer begins.

It’s important to create an alternating custody schedule for the summer ahead of time. This way, everyone involved has a sense of the plan in a way that can reduce conflict and focus on your children having the best summer possible.

Why Is It Important to Create an Alternating Custody Schedule For Summer?

School offers a lot of structure to children’s schedules during the academic year. During the summer, however, their schedules open up which can mean that your custody arrangements require some alterations.

Summer vacation is often the most fun time of year for children, allowing them to go on vacation with family, play with friends, spend time outside, and have some time away from the classroom.

However, if you don’t have a set alternating custody schedule for the summer, this can cause confusion and instability for your kids. For this reason, you want to come up with a plan ahead of time. That way, your kids know when they will be where and so will you and your co-parent.

Avoiding conflict with your co-parent is also important when it comes to scheduling custody. Not only is it difficult and unpleasant for both of you, but it can be very difficult for your children as well. Working out your vacation times, conferences, or other unusual events before the summer begins can help keep the whole family on good terms and reduce stress and tension.

Tips For Summer Custody Arrangements

Even if your academic year custody arrangements are working out swimmingly, there is always the potential for hiccups when it comes to planning out summer vacations. You and your co-parents might have vacations in mind with your kids, and your children might have events or programs they’re planning on attending during the summer months.

Decide if You Need to Make Changes to Your Regular Co-Parenting Plan

If new plans pop up over the summer, your shared parenting time routine or custody plans can be thrown for a loop. Your kids will have a lot more free time when they are out of school, meaning that the existing schedule might not work for a few months.

Rather than waiting until the last minute to make changes to your parenting schedule, check in with your co-parent ahead of time. This way, you can take a look at both of your plans to make sure your alternating custody arrangements can be sorted out before the summer begins.

It’s possible that your existing parenting plan already accounts for adjustments during the summer months. It is also possible that is specifies how you need to make changes to your plan. It’s a good idea for this reason to talk with a family law professional or your attorney to make sure that you understand how you can make adjustments to the existing plan.

Check-In Early About Travel Plans

If you and your co-parent are making individual travel plans for the summer, check in with them ahead of time. This is particularly important if any of your plans involve taking the children along. When you create an open line of communication early on, it can help avoid any issues relating to conflicting vacation dates and plans.

You’ll want to have a conversation with your co-parent before you make any reservations or buy plane tickets. It’s better to get things sorted out with your vacation custody plans first before you buy non-refundable tickets or make reservations that can’t be canceled or changed.

When you tell your co-parent well in advance of your planned vacation, it can also help to avoid conflict about the days when you expect to be out of town. It also helps them schedule their own vacation if they plan on taking one.

Build a Sense of Your Personal Schedule

Beyond vacation, there can be a number of exceptional events and engagements that crop up during the summer. Start populating your calendar now rather than waiting until the last minute. Doing this will let you swap parenting time if necessary well in advance in a way that helps avoid conflict and ensures that your alternating schedule will work out fairly.

You’ll also want to look at each of your kids’ schedules when it comes to events like birthday parties, sports games, or other pre-planned events that you already know they will attend. You can then discuss these events with your co-parent and which one of you will attend if either of you does.

Think About Whether or Not Daycare Will Be Necessary

When your kids aren’t going to school during the day, you might need to think about having them attend a daycare program. If both you and your co-parent work the same hours during the day, you’ll have to come up with a plan for where they can have enjoyable yet supervised summer days.

You can find summer daycare programs on a wide price spectrum. You’ll want to start researching the options during the school year so that you can make sure to sign your children up for the program you think would best suit them.

Check-in with the parents of your children’s friends about this as well. From then you can learn where your kids’ friends are attending daycare, ensuring that your children will have buddies they know when they head to camp.

Ask Your Kids How They Feel

When there are so many logistical considerations dealing with alternating custody schedules for the summer, it can be easy to forget to check in with the most important part of the situation: your kids. Ask them what they think and see if they had anything they wanted to do during the summer. You can then try and work those ideas into the co-parenting schedule you set up.

It’s also possible that your kids have a preference when it comes to the type of custody plan you have. Maybe they prefer spending a few days with each parent each week, or maybe it’s better for them to spend two weeks with each parent at a time. It’s possible that your plan can be easily changed in order to better accommodate the needs of your kids.

Get Your Plan in Writing

No matter how well you and your co-parent get along, there’s always room for confusion and uncertainty when it comes to vacation custody plans. For this reason, always get your plans in writing. That way you have a document to fall back on and refer to if there are any issues.

It’s best to write these plans down and store them somewhere both parents have access to. This way, each parent can look at them on their own time if they aren’t sure about the schedule for the upcoming months.

Sample Custody Plans For Summer

Sometimes, it might be necessary to alter the custody schedule you have set up with your co-parent when summertime rolls around. You will want to factor in the time that each parent wants to take the children on vacation, as well as the kids’ activities like summer camp.

Two Weeks Each

If you and your co-parent have schedules that are relatively similar to the school year, you might consider a “two weeks each” plan. This way, the kids spend two weeks with one parent before spending two weeks with the other parent.

Alternating Weeks

Similar to the above plan, alternating weeks allows kids to stay with one parent every other week and the other parent on alternating weeks. For this plan, you can mark the beginning and end of the week whenever works best. For example, you might choose to have each week start and end on Friday at 4 pm.

3-4-4-3 Schedule

This schedule allows children to spend three days with one parent and then four days with the other parent. It then switches the next week, so both parents get equal time.

2-2-3 Schedule

With this plan, the kids spend two days with one parent, then two days with the other parent, before spending the remaining three days with the first parent. The schedule switches the next week so that over a two-week period both parents get equal time.

2-2-5-5 Schedule

In the 2-2-5-5 schedule, the children spend two days with each parent. Then, they spend five days with each parent. Over a two week period, both parents get to spend an equal amount of time with the children.

Alternating Every Two Days

If the above schedules seem a bit too hard to keep track of, you also might consider alternating every two days. This means that over the course of a month you will spend the same amount of time having custody of the children.

Incorporating Vacations

You will want to have a fairly set plan for the summer before you create your vacation custody plans. While life can be unexpected and things can always change last minute, it’s good to have a sense of your schedule before you create your custody plan.

If you are planning on going on vacation and taking the kids, this time can be incorporated into the overall schedule. Say that you are going to take the children on a two-week vacation. If you are following the two-week alternating plan, then you can simply schedule your vacation in order to accommodate the existing schedule.

Or you can change the existing schedule to accommodate your plan. If you and your co-parent have an agreement to split time with the kids 50/50, this means that the other parent can have an additional two weeks elsewhere in the summer or otherwise sprinkle in extra days throughout the summer weeks to make up the time.

How to Decide if a 50/50 Custody Schedule Is Right For You This Summer

When you are sharing custody of your children, your goal is to best fulfill their social, physical, and emotional needs. Using a 50/50 alternating schedule can be beneficial to children because it allows them to spend equal time with both parents.

These schedules tend to work best when the following conditions are met:

  • The parents can communicate amicably about the children without conflict
  • The parents live within a reasonable distance from one another so exchanges are easier
  • Both parents see the child’s best interest as the most important thing
  • The child can handle switching between each of their parents’ homes
  • Both parents see a 50/50 alternating schedule as being the best option for the children

Creating a summer break schedule as well as a holiday schedule can help you keep your custody plan orderly and reduce confusion. They can also help to balance out the percentage of time each parent spends with the children if the academic year schedule isn’t even.

Custody and Vacations: What’s Your Plan?

No matter what alternating custody schedule for the summer you come up with, you want to make sure that it’s clearly written out for all involved parties to see. This way, you can avoid potential conflict and reduce the stress involved with keeping a schedule.

Are you looking for a way to keep your summer child care plans organized? With 2houses, you can use our co-parent calendar to help keep communication clear in a way that benefits the wellbeing of your children. You can check out this feature here.

Are Attachment Issues More Common After Parent Divorce?

Attachment issues

Did you know that children with divorced parents are more likely to develop insecure attachment styles? As a parent, the last thing you want is for your child to struggle with attachment issues. However, staying in an unhealthy marriage can be just as detrimental to your children. 

If you are going through a divorce and want to understand how this will impact attachment in your children, keep reading. 

Understand Attachment Theory

The first attachment theorist was John Bowlby. He believed that the bonds formed early in children’s lives with their caregivers have an impact through your whole life. Attachment theory looks at attachment as an evolutionary process. 

This theory stated that children are born with an innate drive to form an attachment with their caregiver. This attachment has a purpose in that it keeps the child closer to their mother and increases the chances of survival.

Many originally believed that it was food that drove successful attachment. However, Bowlby and other theorists have demonstrated that it is not food. It is instead nurturance and responsiveness from the child’s caregiver that drive attachment.  

Essentially, a caregiver who responds to their child’s needs helps the child develop a sense of security. The caregiver then gives the child a secure base to explore the world. 

Attachment Styles

There are two main attachment styles. 

  1. Secure Attachment
  2. Insecure Attachment

Within insecure attachment, you have a few sub-styles of attachment. These include anxious, avoidant, and fearful-avoidant attachment. 

Secure Attachment

If a child is securely attached then they have the ability to form a secure and loving relationship with other people. They have the ability to love and be loved. They also have the ability to trust and be trusted. 

Intimacy is not something that will scare someone who is securely attached. In addition, they have the ability to depend on another person and not become completely dependent. 

However, research in the 1980s indicated that only 56 percent of adults have a secure attachment style. 

Insecure Attachment

There are three substyles of insecure attachment. Each of these styles of insecure attachment has different characterizing traits.Anxious Attachment Style

This form of insecure attachment is characterized by a fear of abandonment. This type of person will worry that their partner will leave them and often need a lot of validation. 

Individuals who would get described as “needy” or “clingy” often fall into the category of anxious attachment style. Around 19 percent of adults who have insecure attachment fall into this category.Avoidant Attachment Style

This form of insecure attachment is characterized by a fear of intimacy. Individuals who fall into this category are going to struggle with getting close to others or trusting in a relationship. 

This person may get described as “emotionally unavailable” in relationships. They tend to prefer independence and relying on themselves. Around 25% of individuals with insecure attachment fall into this category. Fearful-Avoidant Attachment Style

This form of insecure attachment is characterized by a combination of anxious and avoidant attachment styles. This individual craves affection, however, they want to avoid it at all costs. 

While they feel the need to be loved by others they are wary of developing close romantic relationships. This type of attachment style is not as common and therefore not well-researched. 

However, it has been associated with serious relational and psychological risks. This can include an increased risk for violence in relationships, difficulty regulating emotions, and heightened sexual behavior. 

Caregivers Behavior and Attachment

There are some basic things that caregivers do that help form their child’s attachment style. Children who are securely attached are more likely to have parents who are responsive and tuned into their needs. 

Children who are anxiously attached are more likely to have caregivers who are unpredictable with affection. This type of caregiver will fluctuate between withdrawn and overly involved. This unpredictability leads the child to be anxiously attached in future relationships. 

Children who have avoidant attachment often have caregivers who are not responsive. This caregiver is dismissive and distant. There is an emotional disconnect from their child.

Due to this disconnect, this child believes that their needs will not get met. Children who are fearful-avoidant usually have a caregiver that is frightening or traumatizing. Because of this, the child experiences a sense of fear or lack of trust in others even though they want close connections. 

A child that grows up in these circumstances will often have poor boundaries. They will also not understand what a healthy relationship looks like. 

Attachment and Divorce

When parents divorce there are many effects on children. The effects of divorce on kids can range from anger to struggling in school to more. Divorce can also impact your child’s attachment.

The process of attachment begins in infancy. However, various factors throughout your child’s life can continue to influence your child’s attachment style. This includes divorce. 

How Parent Divorce Impacts Attachment in Children

Children who have a secure attachment are more likely to be resilient. However, even securely attached children can have that foundation shaken by divorce. 

When parents divorce your children will either now be spending the majority of their time with one parent, or there may be more of a joint custody situation. In a joint custody situation, it may look more like children are spending half the time with one parent and the other half of their time with another parent. 

No matter the scenario to some degree one parent is no longer as available to the child as they previously were. As a young mind seeks to understand this the guidance that parents offer will be very important. 

Oxytocin, Divorce, and Attachment

Oxytocin is also referred to as the “love hormone“. This is because this neurotransmitter when released in the brain impacts cognitive, social, and emotional behavior. It is believed that oxytocin impacts bonding. 

In a study done by Maria Boccia, she looked at attachment, divorce, and oxytocin. In her study, she found that adults who had parents who divorced when they were children had lower levels of oxytocin in their system. 

There are various thoughts on why oxytocin may be decreased in adults whose parents divorced when they were kids. Research previously done has shown that children who did not receive adequate or consistent nurturance, love, attention, and safety from their parents had decreased oxytocin production

These studies have suggested that parental love and attention are responsible for the production of oxytocin. During a divorce, parents can get distracted by what is going on in their marriage. At times this can lead to parents not adequately responding to their children’s emotional needs. 

However, this is not the only way that adult children of divorce’s oxytocin systems can change. Substance use can also change oxytocin production. Individuals who have divorced parents are more likely to engage in these types of behaviors. 

How to Avoid Attachment Issues

During a divorce, it is easy for children to be angry, scared, and confused. While they are used to having two parents in the home suddenly they are being shuffled back and forth between houses and primarily living with only one parent. 

There are ways you can respond to divorce and your children’s emotions that will help them as their world adjusts. By responding appropriately you will also help prevent attachment issues. 

Do Not Put Children in the Middle

Your child should never be the person you vent to about how much you cannot stand the other parent. You chose to have children with your child’s other parent. When you get divorced you need to figure out how to co-parent. 

Even if the other parent chooses not to involve themselves, NEVER speak negatively about the child’s other parent to them. Children may know things about their parents, but if you insult the other parent this will cause an internal struggle. 

Keep Arguments Quiet

It is likely your children have heard you argue. However, heated discussions, legal conversations, and visible conflict should be kept away from your children. 

This is a big adjustment for you and these things will happen. However, your child is still processing and learning how to handle their own emotions. 

They should not have the added stress of being frightened by things they do not understand. 

Help Them Express Emotions

Depending on your child’s age they may still be struggling to put their emotions into words. Helping your child talk about how they are feeling is important. 

Saying things such as, “it seems like you’re feeling sad” or “do you know what is making you sad” can help your child begin to put words to their emotions. 

It is also vital that you respond to their emotions appropriately. Never tell a child they should not feel something. 

Validate what they are feeling and talk to them about it. You can validate your child’s feelings by practicing active listening. This includes not being distracted by phones or other external things and reflecting your child’s emotions back to them.

Offer Support

Talk to your child about what can help them feel better. Is it putting a picture of mom or dad next to the bed? Is it cuddling with their favorite stuffy? 

Or maybe it is taking the time to call and video chat with the other parent. In addition, make sure you have important conversations about divorce with your kids. They need to know it’s not their fault and you are not divorcing them. 

Kids who get separated from one of their parents by divorce are likely to be anxious. It is important that they know the parent is still there and available when they need them. 

Use Consistent Discipline

If you are feeling guilty about your divorce then it is easy to let children get away with behavior that they previously would not have. Keep in mind though, consistent discipline provides much-needed structure and boundaries for your child. 

Your child already knows what to expect from you. Many children can begin to act out to test new boundaries or to get attention. Maintain consistency in how you address these behaviors as you explore the reasons behind them.

Teach Coping Skills

Children are still learning how to cope with their emotions. They need positive outlets. So do you! 

You can model good coping skills for your child. You can engage in activities to help both of you cope as you go through this process. Not only will this give your child coping skills to use but it will also reinforce the fact that you are there and responding to their emotional needs. 

Help Kids Feel Safe

It is natural for your children to fear abandonment in this situation. Concerns about the future can also weigh heavily on your children. They need to feel safe. 

Time, affection, consistency, boundaries, listening, and unconditional love are all methods you can use to show your child they are safe. 

Spend Time

Time is a valuable commodity. Spending time with your kids should always happen. However, during a divorce, it is even more important. 

Your kids need to know you are still there. There are many ways you can choose to bond with your children from reading to playing

Take Care of You

Taking care of yourself is very important. If you do not then it will impact your ability to take care of your child. 

If you do not take the time to process your emotions then it will be difficult to help your child process their emotions. Talk to friends and use your own coping techniques. This way when you are with your child you can care for them. 

Get Help

If you are struggling to co-parent peacefully, or your kids are struggling and you do not know what to do, get help. Seeking professional help can feel like a failure but it’s not. 

Knowing you are overwhelmed and struggling and not getting help is when you will fail. Your child’s future depends on you. Take the steps needed to ensure they have a good one. 

Set Your Child up for Success

While the risk is higher for children of divorce to struggle with attachment issues, it is not unavoidable. There are things you can do as a parent to help your child in this difficult transition. 

2houses is here to support you through this transition. They offer articles and tools to help you learn to co-parent successfully. Check out their app and how it can help you today. 

Kids & Divorce: Who Pays For Summer Camp?

Who Pays For Summer Camp

39% of all marriages end in divorce. While it might not seem like a huge deal when it comes to the separation of marital assets.

There is one area that can make separation quite challenging. It can become tricky when it comes to kids & divorce because several factors need to be considered, especially in terms of summer camp cost.

We’ve created a comprehensive guide that’s going to help you navigate the summer between yourself and your former partner.

Summertime Madness

It’s summertime, and children will be spending the hours they normally spend in school at home. But, if you’re a parent who still has work obligations, you might be considering ways for your child to spend their time constructively.

All of a sudden, the idea of sending your child to summer camp comes to mind. But, there’s something else that you’ve got to think about, and that’s consulting with your former spouse about who will cover summer camp costs.

Who’s paying for summer camp? Should it be written into your custodial agreement?

We’re here to make things simpler and help you continue to have an effective and smooth co-parenting relationship. After all, it’s summer, a time to enjoy the sunshine and freedom.

Here are some things that need to be defined before you can begin to think about summer camp costs.

Your Child’s Summer Schedule

Although it’s summer, your child will still need to follow the custody schedule that was agreed upon and is legally binding. This means spending time with both parents throughout the summer.

The first thing you need to do is create a schedule for your child’s summer plans before they begin. In this schedule document, the beginning and end of each camp your child wants to participate in.

Under these camps, fill in which parent the child will be with according to your schedule underneath. You want to do this because it gives your child and both parents a visual representation of where the child will be and which parent they will be with.

This will also reduce anxiety or nervousness when it’s time for camp and serves as a reminder for both parents. If your children are young, it can help them remember what is to come during that week and helps to establish a routine, reducing the confusion they feel moving between homes.

Who Will Cover the Cost?

The next thing that you need to discuss is the cost of summer camp. The first thing you need to do is check your legal custody agreement and review it to see if it mentions summer activities as a part of the cost of custody.

In most places, the only way to determine who will foot the cost of summer camp will depend on the law in your state and area. 

If there isn’t an area in your agreement that details who will pay for your child to attend summer camp, it needs to be discussed between you and your former partner. It would help if you discussed what the cost of the following would be:

  • Summer camp
  • Summer activities
  • Summer trips

Depending on the custodial agreement in place, you might have to edit the number of camps and trips your child takes to ensure that the funds to afford them are in place. Also, if you and your former spouse cannot cover the cost of camp, we recommend checking out financial aid.

Several camps allow children to attend on financial aid scholarships when their parents cannot pay the full cost of camp. You’ve got to create a plan that will help the summer go as smoothly as possible.Creating Your Plan

When you’re creating your plan, one thing that you don’t want to do is involve your child in the discussion. The reason you want to avoid this is if you and your former spouse begin arguing about potential plans, it can cause your child anxiety and unease.

Your child should have an opinion about which camps and trips they take, but they don’t need to be a part of the detailed planning of their summer schedule, especially when you’re discussing the finance side of things.

Another thing you don’t want to do when creating your child’s summer plans is let other issues that you’ve got in your co-parenting relationship interfere. Remain focused on what you’re attempting to accomplish and work on other issues in your relationship at a later time.

In the end, you want to ensure that both of you come to an agreement that will satisfy your needs and ensure that your child will be able to have the summer that they’ve been looking forward to.

Necessity or Non-Necessity?

We understand that you still might be wondering who’s going to pay for child support? We mentioned earlier that depending on where you live, it could already be written into your custodial agreement.

That’s where the terms necessity and non-necessity come into play. Some states classify summer camp as a necessity, and if you’re in one of these areas, it will already be written into your child support agreement.

The cost paid for the camp could be based on the type of camp where they will be going for the summer. If your divorce hasn’t been finalized, you must have your attorney include summer camp in the agreement.

It’s not always easy to have the parent who doesn’t have sole custody of the child pitch in for activities that they don’t think are necessary. It’s beneficial if you prove that your child attending summer camp is a form of daycare that allows you to continue working to make money to care for your child.


While there are states that deem summer camp as a necessity, some consider it a non-necessity. If your area doesn’t see summer camp as a non-necessity, the cost of the camp will need to be considered extracurricular summer activities.

In this case, the cost of summer camp isn’t going to be written into your child custody agreement because it’s not a necessity for your child. This means that the non-custodial parent has no legal obligation to help pay for your child to attend summer camp.

Although it’s not written into your agreement because this is a form of daycare that will ensure the child(ren) are being looked after, the judge may still require the non-custodial parent to help pay for summer camp.

The reason for this is that it’s in the child’s best interest. Now that we’ve given you some background information on who will cover the cost of summer camp, there’s still more that we need to share with you.

How to Choose a Summer Camp?

After you’ve sat down and discussed who will cover the cost of your child attending summer camp, the next step is deciding where your child will go camping. Again, depending on your agreement, one parent might have more say than the other, but you want to ensure that both agree, or things could get messy.

There are several factors to consider before you both come to a decision on which summer camp will be the best for your child. Keep in mind, wherever your child goes camping, you want them to have a great time and enjoy themselves.

Summer Camp Goals

The first thing you need to think about is what are your expectations for the camp that your child will be attending. Do you want them to attend camp because you want them to have the experience of interacting with other children their age?

Or are you hoping that your child will continue to broaden their intelligence through specific summer camp activities provided by the camp you send them to? Setting your expectations will narrow down the list of summer camp options your child has to choose from.

Camp Types

If the purpose of your child attending summer camp is daycare-based because you’ve got to work during the day, think about this when choosing the type of summer camp they’ll attend. There is a day camp where your child will attend for a couple of hours a day and then be picked up by their legal guardian.

If you’re working from home and need to keep your child preoccupied constructively, we recommend looking into virtual summer camps. Virtual summer camps are offered online due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to control the outbreak of the virus during the summer.

A virtual summer camp might require you purchase some items for your home that can be used while your child is online. The last camp you might consider for your child is an overnight camp.

Overnight camps last a couple of days or weeks, depending on the age of your child. This is better for older children and can handle being away from their parents for longer periods.

But, again, no matter what camp your child is being sent to, you and your former partner must agree on where they’re being sent. As well as what type of camp it is.

Camp Genres

Yes, you read that right you need to consider the genre of the camp. Tons of camps specialize in specific things. If you’re sending your child to a traditional camp, they’ll have the typical experience.

They’ll spend time singing around the campfire and engaging in several outdoor activities with other kids their age. If you wish for your child to continue learning and not forget what they were taught in school, you’ll need to find a camp that focuses on providing academic services.

If your child has special needs, the camp you sign them up for should be equipped to handle their needs. Is the environment provided conducive to improving their mental and physical state while ensuring that they have the time of their lives?

Think About the Instructors

The instructors at the camp are just as important as the camp that you send your child(ren) to. Find a camp whose instructors are invested in ensuring that your child has fun at summer camp every time they are there.

A good camp instructor should be someone that enjoys working with children and has a passion for helping them thrive in any situation. If you’re not sure how to determine if the instructors at a camp will be the right fit for your child, check out the camp’s website.

Most camps will typically have an area where you can review the instructors and learn a bit more about them before signing your child up for camp.

Set a Budget

One of the largest things to think about is how much it’ll cost for your child to attend summer camp. If funds are tight between parents, it’s ideal to find a camp that won’t put a huge dent in your pocket while still providing your child what they need.

Both parents should be open and honest about what they can afford to put towards summer camp if it’s not listed in your child custody agreement.

Kids & Divorce: Sweet Summertime

Summertime is a common topic when it comes to kids & divorce. Which parent will be responsible for covering the cost of summer camp?

Which summer camp will your child attend, and for how long? We’ve provided you the answers you’ve been searching for above.

If you need help managing your child’s schedule over the summer, don’t waste any more time and get started by contacting 2houses. It’ll make it easier for both parents to stay on top of their children’s schedule and input information where changes need to be made.

Divorce With Children: Not One-Size-Fits-All

Divorce With Children

Divorce is undeniably difficult, but when children are involved it becomes infinitely more complex and stressful. When you have children, you will need to communicate with your former spouse for many years after the divorce. While every divorce is different, it’s important to know generally what to expect while navigating a divorce with children. 

Separation and divorce can bring about a lot of unchartered territory for everyone involved. Arming yourself with some information ahead of time can ease the pain at least somewhat. Here are some things to consider when heading down this path.

Breaking the News

Telling your children you’re getting a divorce is no easy task. The best approach in breaking the news of your divorce to your children is to be honest and direct. 

Once you’ve decided to divorce, the first to know should be your children. As much as you may trust family and friends, you don’t want to take the chance that your children find out about your divorce from anyone other than you.

Set aside a time when you can sit down with your children without distractions and in a place where your children will feel most comfortable. It may seem like a good idea to share this news when your children are enjoying a fun event or during a holiday to distract them, but this is not the case. You don’t want them to associate those events with the trauma of your divorce.

Keep it simple. There is no need to go into every ugly detail. The most important thing to convey is that this decision will not affect how much you love and care for your children. They will need to know what will be different about their lives and what will stay the same. 

Hearing that your parents will no longer be living under the same roof is a traumatic and life-changing experience for children. It’s important that you assure them that you love them no matter what.  Go over everything with the other parent in advance so that when it comes time to tell your children you’re already well-informed with a plan in place.

The Process

Once you’ve decided to separate from your spouse, there may be a period of time before you’re actually able to officially divorce. During this time, one of the biggest decisions you will make will be settling the custody of the children.

In many cases, parents can come to an agreement as to how the custody arrangements will work. In cases of conflict where the parents cannot come to a mutually agreeable understanding, mediators can help find a solution that will work for everyone. In extreme cases, the matter can be taken before a judge.

There are many different ways parents can share custody of their children. The important thing is to find a schedule that keeps the needs of the children before the wishes and wants of everyone else. There are resources available to help you choose a path that’s right for you. 

Children First

No matter what your relationship is with your former spouse, you should both agree that your children’s emotional and physical well-being should always come first. This process is going to be difficult enough for your children without them having to deal with parents who are constantly arguing.

There are several things you should avoid when dealing with children after a divorce. Never argue or belittle your former spouse in front of the children. If you find it difficult to communicate peacefully, make sure you take it far away from the earshot of your kids. 

Never use your children as messengers or ask them to act as a go-between for you and the other parent. This causes the children to feel like they are expected to take sides between two people they love a great deal. In a similar vein, never grill your child for information regarding the other parent. 

Being civil may be the last thing you’re in the mood to do, but for the sake of your children, it is essential that you put aside your differences and choose the paths that will serve their interests best, even if it means swallowing pride. While there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, keeping the children’s needs above everything else should be your primary goal.


Though you are no longer married, you are still parents and always will be. First and foremost you will need to establish open communication about schedules, vacations, and other relevant information. 

Children thrive on routine and predictability. As much as is possible, keep their regular mealtimes, bedtimes, and other schedules unchanged from your house to theirs. 

It can be tempting for both parents to be a lot more lenient or to overindulge their children after the divorce. While it’s important to be understanding of the turmoil your kids are facing, maintaining rules and discipline will actually go a long way in making them feel more secure. 

Also, staying consistent with rules and discipline between both houses will help your children know exactly what is expected of them. Keeping this sense of normalcy for them will help them adjust to their new life. 

Another thing to consider will be holidays and who will have the kids for which ones. It’s best to have a schedule laid out in advance so there’s no confusion or added anxiety. Many parents will simply swap from year to year.

With proper planning, there’s no reason that your new traditions won’t become just as special as the old ones. 

Managing busy schedules for your kids can be a hassle even for parents who are still married. This can be especially difficult after a divorce. Many parents find that using a co-parenting app can help manage communication and scheduling. 

Working together to put the children first in spite of your differences will also set an example for your kids on how to manage conflict and resolve issues peacefully.

Shared Costs

Even though you’re no longer living in the same home, you will still need to share the costs of raising the children. Things like food and shelter may be addressed in child support, but there are other things that will arise where you will likely need to split the cost. 

Items like shoes and clothing will be an ongoing issue since your children will be constantly growing. At one point all of their clothes resided in one place. Now that you are living separately, you may find that you’ll both need more clothing at your place so your children will have plenty to wear.

Activities like sports, music lessons, and equipment that come with these activities can start to add up if only one parent is paying. Keep all receipts related to these expenses and choose a time periodically to go over how much each parent has spent so that the costs can be equally divided. 

Other things like doctor visits, orthodontics, or other fees will need to be discussed ahead of time as well. Putting together an expense budget or parenting plan may help take the stress out of communicating about money.


In many cases, parents and children alike will need some help processing all of the emotions that come with a divorce. For parents, this can provide a useful place to take their frustrations about the divorce. Having a healthy outlet for all the emotion that comes with divorce can mean you can guide your children through their grief. 

For older children, the process of going through a divorce can bring about a host of issues. It’s not uncommon for children to act out or perform poorly in school. It can be a good idea to have them see a professional counselor to help them work through their thoughts and feelings about the divorce. 

Watching their parents go through the process of ending a marriage can cause emotions in your children that they cannot define or understand. With the help of a therapist, you can help them put words to what they are feeling. When these emotions are defined, they can be handled in a healthy and productive way. 

Helping children cope with divorce is a difficult process, so there is a great benefit to seeking out counseling.

Seek immediate help when you see the problems in your children or yourself worsen over time. If your child is acting in violent ways or threatening to hurt themselves or others, it is crucial to get them help as soon as possible.

The same is true for you. If the feelings of depression significantly interfere with your ability to care for yourself or if you begin to have thoughts of suicide, reach out to a professional immediately. You don’t need to go through this season alone.  

Outside Help

Sometimes divorce comes with feelings of extreme hostility between the parents. When it’s impossible for the parents to communicate effectively for the benefit of the children it may be necessary to call in mediators to help you decide what’s best for your kids. 

Though this type of help will come with added cost, it may be worth the expense to help you get started on the process of laying out a new normal for everyone. After some time has passed and wounds have healed, you can try again to communicate with each other one on one. 

The most important thing is to protect your children from any hostility that lies between you and the other parent. Putting them first before your own feelings will minimize the trauma and stress they will go through. 

Take Care of Yourself

There is a good reason why airlines tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before you help your children. You can hardly be of any use to them if you’re struggling to breathe yourself. 

Going through a period of depression is completely natural after the end of a marriage. That’s why it’s more important than ever to pay attention to your physical and emotional needs. 

Eating a healthy diet, drinking water, and getting plenty of exercise is always good advice. These things are even more important when you’re going through a time of stress. 

If you are sharing custody with your former spouse, times without your children can be a good time to focus on hobbies and activities you enjoy. It may feel strange to be without your children initially, but you can use that time to engage with friends, travel, garden, or anything you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t found the time. 

It’s also quite normal to feel lonely after a divorce. This is a time to be sure you are leaning on family and friends for support. 

Even very small things like having a regularly scheduled outing with friends or taking a daily walk can boost your mood and fight feelings of depression. When you are feeling healthy you are even more capable of helping your children through their struggles. 

Divorce with Children

Divorce can be a painful and traumatic event for everyone involved. When it comes to making sure your children navigate this process in a healthy way, there is no such thing as being overprepared. 

There are many resources and apps that can help you along the way. For help with scheduling and communication, check out the 2houses app.

During this time, it is important to know that you are not alone. With the help of counselors, mediators, apps, family, and friends, you can eventually find your way to a new normal. 

What are Legally Shared Expenses for Children After a Divorce

Legally Shared Expenses

The divorce process can prove challenging for parents. Deciding what to do with your children during a separation is one of the most important decisions that you must make.

For instance, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll share expenses for the kids. There are many different ways that you might divide expenses.

The right solution for you will vary depending on where you live and your circumstances. However, a few pointers might make managing these decisions easier.

To learn more about the legally shared expenses for children after a divorce, continue reading.

Contemplating Legally Shared Expenses

Ending a marriage is challenging on many levels, especially when a child is involved. There’s a lot at stake. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the points involved in the finances of co-parenting.

During the separation process, you’ll split assets that you’ve accumulated over many years. Now, you’ll need to find common ground to support your child until they become an adult.

The court system compels separating couples to enter a divorce decree. It details the conditions of the separation.

For example, it might establish alimony and child support payments. It will also establish a visitation schedule for the noncustodial parent.

Furthermore, the decree will establish new beneficiaries for any financial assets. It will also divide any shared debts.

While you work through these conditions, some of the hardest things to do are to simultaneously focus on now and plan for the future. However, you must advocate for yourself and your family during this process.

The separation process is your opportunity to seek what’s best for yourself and your child. The court will take this point into consideration when you file the decree.

Most importantly, it’s important that everyone involved has their voice heard in order to establish an appropriate plan of action moving forward.

Some Common Legally Shared Expenses

In many cases, divorcing couples establish child support to cover the care of their offspring. These payments may go toward child care.

They may also go toward activities and college tuition. Child support also covers basic necessities such as food and clothing.

Sometimes, however, parents disagree over whether child support should cover all of their child’s expenses. Alternatively, they may disagree whether parents should split various costs.

With this in mind, the following entries offer a closer look at child-rearing expenses.

Daily Necessities H3

The idea of child support is to protect the interests of children. Ideally, it shields them from the economic impact of a divorce. Also, it helps them to maintain their standard of living.

Child support provides assistance for the parent with primary custody. It helps them to meet their child’s basic needs. It also helps the custodial parent maintain the standard of living they enjoyed while they were married.

Necessities include food, clothing and shelter. They might also include other basic needs such as personal hygiene products.

When parents get divorced, the law may expect them to either share these expenses equally or based on their incomes. However, in some cases, this isn’t always possible. In such a case, it’s in the child’s best interests if both parties can come up with an agreement about how they’ll handle their shared child-rearing responsibilities and costs.

Extra Expenses H3

Not all expenses are covered by child support. For instance, child support might not cover sports activities, school excursions or music lessons.

Also, child support usually doesn’t cover large expenses. Typically, a parent can expect to incur this kind of expense as a child grows older. For example, a teen that’s transitioning into adulthood will most likely want a car and need auto insurance.

Post-Secondary Education H3

In most states, the age of majority is 18 years old. Usually, child support ends at this time. In some states, however, child support will continue beyond the age of majority to cover college expenses.

This kind of child support is considered post-minority or post-secondary support. The terms of this kind of support may vary in different states.

For example, the noncustodial parent might pay post-minority support in addition to child support. Alternatively, they may pay it as part of child support. In some instances, a noncustodial parent might make a separate post-minority child support payment after regular child support comes to an end.

Extracurricular Education and Healthcare H3

Some states include health insurance, work-related child care and uninsured medical expenses in their support calculations. It’s a part of their formula for figuring out basic child support.

In other states, however, a judge may designate a separate payment. This payment will go toward your children’s medical expenses, child care and education-related expenses.

Education expenses, for example, may include tuition or tutoring. Here, it’s helpful to understand that these items are separate from the basic child support calculation.

These expenses could include participation in sports or music activities. If the court deems these activities a necessary part of the child’s education, it might order payment for these activities as a part of child support.

Expense Disputes

Sometimes, parents can’t agree on necessary child support expenses. They also have conflicts over who should pay for it.

In these cases, a judge may need to intervene. Typically, the court will divide the responsibility of paying for extra expenses.

The court will begin this process by examining each parent’s income. It will also consider which parent wants their child to participate in the activity.

Also, the court will assess whether a child has participated in this activity in the past. It may also assess why each parent supports or opposes the activity. After measuring these points, the court may modify the child support order to address these expenses.

Finding Common Ground

In most instances, child support doesn’t cover expenses beyond bare necessities. As a result, it’s helpful if parents can reach their own agreement.

In some cases, separating couples incorporate this agreement into their divorce decree. It becomes a part of their parenting plan.

There are times when separating couples will make these kinds of agreements very specific. Often, however, this kind of agreement can prove restrictive.

What’s worse, they can fail to accommodate all necessary expenses. Frequently, a problem in this area will arise when there’s a large disparity in the income of the parents.

Sometimes, these kinds of arrangements work, and sometimes they don’t. Most often, however, it’s difficult for them to succeed. In the end, it depends on the parents.

When managing financial issues with your children, it’s always better for parents to maintain a civil arrangement. This kind of arrangement means coming to terms with cost-sharing even if it’s not in the divorce decree. In most cases, this kind of common ground ends up benefiting both parents—and the child.

The Realities of Separation

Ending a marriage is always unpleasant on some level. Unfortunately, this kind of unpleasantness frequently manifests when it comes to child-related expenses. As a parent, however, it’s important to minimize conflict in this area as much as possible.

It helps to have a discussion with your spouse before finalizing your divorce. During this conversation, you should try to come to an agreement about how you’ll share your child’s expenses.

Eventually, you’ll develop a clear agreement in your divorce decree. However, relying solely on your divorce papers can turn into a minefield. Sticking to the letter of your decree can lead to unneeded disputes.

Also, it can fuel competition between you and your ex-partner. For example, without an amicable separation, parents might compete over enrolling their children in a preferred activity. Disputes can also arise over your child’s technology needs.

In many cases, the parent who does all the signing up and enrolling can feel like they’re carrying all the responsibility. They can feel like they’re covering all the expenses and not getting reimbursed.

Over time, this debt can accumulate. When this happens, the parent typically resorts to legal action. However, it’s in your child’s best interest to address this issue before it becomes a legal matter.

Ideally, you and your ex-spouse share decision-making. In this scenario, neither of you should end up blindsided by expenses.

When enrolling your child in extracurricular activities, it’s helpful to begin by talking to your spouse. You may even have to have this conversation every semester.

Some parents, however, must negotiate these activities in the parenting plan of their divorce decree. This circumstance typically arises when one parent doesn’t support a current activity.

It might also arise when the activity results in a significant expense. It could also come up if the child activity cuts into parenting time.

A Step in the Right Direction

It’s easy to suggest amicable co-parenting. However, challenges do arise in this regard.

Some parents want their children involved in extracurricular activities every day. Others feel that a single sport each season is enough.

If you’re going to include activities and your parenting plan, it’s a good idea to leave room for flexibility. Also, make sure that the plan incorporates the child’s preferences.

In general, it’s important to clearly share any expenses related to the activity. If you expect the other parent to support the activity financially, then you should have a clear list of what those expenses entail.

Balancing Expenses With Fairness H3

Most separating parents opt for an alternative to paying for specific items. Instead, they usually agree to share costs equally. Alternatively, they might share costs based on their income according to child support calculations.

In theory, this method allows for changes in proportion as child support changes. However, it’s very rare that this happens. Most often, parents don’t want to relive going through court.

If you and your ex-spouse disagree on activities, sometimes, the answer lies in who pays. For example, you might want your child to participate in an activity, but the other parent is not supportive. Yet, they may agree to the activity if you agree to cover all the expenses for it.

It’s also important to make sure that the activity doesn’t interfere with the other parent’s time with your child. If the activity takes place during their parenting time, they should agree to it.

A divorce decree serves as a guideline. With one, however, there are still many details to work out along the way.

When it comes to accounting for shared expenses, things can get tricky. This area can prove especially problematic when multiple children are involved.

Again, it can also prove troublesome if there’s a large disparity in income. In these cases, you’ll want to put forth the extra effort to resolve who foots the bill.

A Solution for Sharing Expenses and More

After a separation, you’ll have a lot of things to figure out together every day. For instance, you’ll need to figure out who’ll pay for and actually purchase your child’s school supplies.

In some cases, you’ll need to figure out how to receive reimbursement from the other parent. You’ll also need to come up with a way to negotiate unplanned expenses.

With so many things to consider, how will you keep track of it all? Fortunately, a co-parenting app—such as 2houses—can make the process easier. You can use it to better manage finances and the other affairs of your two houses.

For instance, a co-parenting app will allow you to share messages with each other about your child easily. It will also give you access to a shared calendar.

You can use the calendar to keep track of scheduled visits and other important dates. Also, you can use the co-parenting app to keep track of shared expenses and send real-time reimbursement requests.

A Co-Parenting App for Peaceful Child Rearing

Now you know more about the legally shared expenses for children after a divorce. What you need now is a powerful technology for harmonious co-parenting.

2houses is the child custody tool that helps parents navigate co-parenting after a divorce or separation, so they can focus on what matters most—their children. It’s easy to use, affordable and available anywhere in the world.

Our goal is simple—to give you more time with your kids and make sure they’re safe and happy. What’s more, we’ll do all of this without breaking the bank or taking up too much of your valuable time.

See for yourself. Please feel free to take a look at our features to learn more about a better way to manage two houses.

My Parents Are Divorcing. How Do I Cope?

My parents are divorcing

When it comes to the relationship between divorce and children, parents breaking up can impact kids psychologically, emotionally, physically, and academically. When children are young, it is important for parents to learn how to explain divorce to children and how to help their children cope.

However, teenagers and adults who have divorcing parents might be searching on their own for information on coping with divorce. For these different stages in life, learning how to deal with your parent’s divorce might look a bit different whether you’re still living under your parent’s roof or if you have transitioned into adulthood.

In both cases, though, it’s important for you to learn how to identify, experience, and validate your own emotions as a part of the healing process. It is easy for both teens and adults to suppress their emotions that stem from such a difficult occurrence, however, this can have a number of psychological and physiological consequences.

Are you wondering how to cope when you’re parents are getting a divorce? Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

Coping With Divorce as a Teenager

The teenage years are often a time of high emotions, with so much going on with friends, relationships, and school. Many teens are already feeling stress during this time, and parents divorcing or problems in the home can amplify that.

Here are some important things to remember when your parents are getting divorced.

It’s Not Your Fault and It Never Was

As a teenager, watching your parent’s relationship and can be one of the most difficult things you will go through. Even though this can be a very hard time, you never want to forget that it is not your fault. Relationships can be incredibly complicated, and your parents are separating because of issues between them and not to do with you.

It is easy to worry that things that you did or didn’t do led to your current situation. However, there is nothing that you could have done to change the outcome of your parent’s relationship.

You’re Not Their Messenger

Unfortunately, some parents will use their children as a messenger to share information between homes. This is not your responsibility, and you should not be put in the position of being their go-between. It is your parent’s responsibility to figure out how to communicate with each other in a way that does not involve you.

Validate Your Emotions, Don’t Suppress Them

When you find out that your parents are getting a divorce, there are a lot of different emotions that you might feel. Maybe you feel angry, confused, sad, or maybe you even feel relieved if your parents were always fighting. No matter how you feel about the situation, it is absolutely crucial that you validate your emotions.

Feeling guilty about the emotion you’re having won’t accomplish anything and will only cause more pain and discomfort for you. Many teenagers might be tempted to suppress their emotions because they are worried that there is something wrong with them. However, allowing yourself to experience your emotions and vent them is essential to your mental health.

When people suppress their emotions, they often find ways to vent these emotions. This might lead to issues like overeating or abusing alcohol or drugs. Self-destructive behavior like this will only make the situation worse, and if you’ve found yourself coping in this type of way it’s important to get professional counseling right away.

Emotions will always be a part of life. It is important that we learn to accept, experience, and validate our motion in order to leave the healthiest life possible.

Find New Ways of Dealing With Stress

You may have never dealt with as much stress as you are now that your parents are getting divorced. If you haven’t had to figure out how to handle stress in the past, you might be feeling unequipped for the situation you’re going through.

There are a lot of different things that you can do for stress management. Everyone is different, and you can experiment with what works for you. Lots of people, though, are able to find hobbies that they enjoy that assist them in getting through times that are tough.

Here are some popular stress management hobbies and techniques:

  • Journaling
  • Running
  • Yoga
  • Hiking
  • Doing puzzles
  • Cooking
  • Coloring
  • Knitting, crocheting, or quilting
  • Spending time with your pet
  • Playing sports
  • Breathing exercises
  • Art projects
  • Socializing with friends

While you can’t change the fact that your parent’s getting divorced is causing stress in your life, you can adopt stress management techniques that help you cope with it.

Divorce can obviously be quite stressful for parents, too. If you’ve been experiencing anxiety as a co-parent, check out these five tips to help you cope.

Communicate With Your Parents

When you’re parents are getting a divorce, you might not feel particularly compelled to tell your parents how you are feeling. However, it’s important that you don’t keep your feelings from them during this time. Share with them what you’re going through emotionally so that they can understand how the divorce is affecting you.

You shouldn’t be scared or ashamed to tell your parents that you’re feeling sad or angry about the divorce. Some teens might worry that doing so will make their parents feel bad. However, your parents want to know how you’re doing and it’s their responsibility to be there for you.

Talk to Your Close Friends

Sometimes it can be good to talk to those who are close to you that are beyond your family. Your closest friends want the best for you and want to know what’s going on in your life. When you’re parents are going through a divorce, talk with your best friends and tell them what you’ve been going through.

It can be hard to talk about these things, and maybe you don’t want to talk about your parents divorce with all of your friends. However, confiding in your closest friends can be a very healthy way to deal with and vent your emotions, keeping you healthier and happier and avoiding the outcome of suppressing emotions.

Consider Talking to an Expert

It can feel odd to talk to a professional therapist or counselor at first. However, it can be very helpful to have someone to listen to you and talk things out with during this time. They can offer tips or insights to help you manage your emotions, and otherwise provide a safe place where you can talk about how you feel.

Relationships can be complicated, and there are some things that you might not feel comfortable telling your parents or your close friends. While it’s good to be open and honest with those around you, it is certainly understandable if you feel hesitant to be completely open about how you’re feeling. Therapists can be a great tool in this type of circumstance, to help you explore how you are feeling and decide how to communicate that honestly with the people in your life.

How to Deal With Your Parent’s Divorce as an Adult

Even though the divorce rate in the US is on the decline, there is one demographic where divorce is on the rise. Surprisingly, this group is people over the age of 50.

Commonly referred to as “gray divorces,” we are now at a point where one in four people that are getting divorced in the United States are in this older demographic.

There are a number of different factors that are thought to contribute to this rise in divorce at an older age. These include the fact that divorce is more socially acceptable, that women are more financially independent, and that people are living longer.

It is also common for parents to wait to end their marriage until their kids have left the house. The thought process behind this is that adult children will be better able to deal with their parent’s relationship unraveling. While this can be true in some ways and it can certainly be better for children to have a stable home environment when they’re growing up, that doesn’t mean that divorce can’t be devastating and confusing to adult children.

Many adult children whose parents are getting divorced might assume that it shouldn’t be a big deal for them. However, this is a major life transition for them, too, as it impacts the structure of their family forever. Let’s take a look at some divorce tips for adult children.

Understand That Your Experiences and Feelings Are Valid

Everyone is going to have a different experience when their parents are getting a divorce. Some adult children might be struck with relief, happy that their unhappy parents are finally moving on from an unhealthy relationship. On the other hand, though, it can be devastating to have your family structure change and feel as though it’s in dissolution, which is absolutely a valid way to feel.

No matter how you feel, the important thing is to validate your feelings and experiences. As adults, sometimes we think we know how we should feel about certain occurrences. However, our feelings aren’t dictated by what we think should happen rationally, and so it’s important to recognize how you actually feel versus how you think it would be most mature and ideal for you to feel.

Know That You’re Not Alone

As mentioned earlier, divorces between adults over the age of 50 are on the rise. While this may or may not be comforting, it can help to understand that you aren’t alone in this situation.

Some research surrounding this phenomenon finds that roughly half of the adult children of older divorcees report negative experiences and feelings. Conflicted feelings lead about half of them to withdraw from their parents. Luckily, within about five years most of these estranged parents and children will reconcile, according to the research.

Acknowledge Your Grief

You can lose so many things when your parents get divorced, even if you’re an adult and no longer living at home. You might find that your extended family is no longer intact, it can change the structure of your support systems, and it can alter your dreams about future family celebrations, rituals, and traditions.

Acknowledging your grief is an important step in this process. You should feel free to share the fact that you are grieving these losses with your family and friends. You should be allowed time to mourn this loss and accept so that you can heal, and communicating this need with family and friends can help give you the space you need.

Set Boundaries That Work For You

Adult children of divorcing parents can feel caught in the middle when there are conflict or issues. As an adult, you can set boundaries that make it clear that you don’t want to participate in being a messenger, middleman, therapist, surrogate spouse, or any other kind of unhealthy or unnecessary role.

If you want to have a relationship with both parents, make it clear that you love them both and want to maintain a healthy relationship with both of them. Rather than fulfilling unhealthy roles for your parents, it’s important that you insist that they get the help they need elsewhere.

You can also request that your parents keep their personal issues out of family and celebratory events. There is no need for holidays and celebrations to be traumatic events ad infinitum, and it’s important that both parents be able to participate in the family without making it about their personal scuffles.

If you’re getting divorced, check out these five tips to help you deal with the stress.

Divorce and Children: Finding Resources to Help Everyone Cope

Many people involved in a divorce or with divorcing parents might feel ashamed or even inconvenienced by their emotions and experience. However, it’s absolutely essential that you prioritize your mental health during this time to help you get through what is understandable a very difficult experience.

You don’t have to go through this alone and should seek the help of supportive family, friends, and healthcare professionals. There are countless resources available online and elsewhere to help you learn how best to cope with divorce.

If you’re looking for more resources that have to do with divorce and children, check out the library of information available on the 2houses blog.