Feelings, Relationships, and Pregnancy: Dealing with Breakup While Pregnant

A Breakup When You’re Pregnant

Overcoming a breakup is challenging no matter what the circumstances are. But when you’re pregnant things become a whole lot more complicated. However, that does not mean they are impossible to manage. Even though it might feel like the world is crumbling before your eyes, this shift in trajectory might be what is best for you and your child in the long run.

Women have been birthing and raising children since the dawn of time. And many of them have triumphantly done so without the support of a biological father.

That said, it’s important to remember that whatever your emotional response to this is, it’s okay.

Managing a breakup while pregnant is a tough challenge to accept. But you can emerge from this situation stronger, happier, and more yourself than ever before.

Feeling Overwhelmed Is Natural

If you’ve found yourself in this position, chances are you are feeling overwhelmed and possibly even scared. Both of these reactions are completely understandable and natural.

Before the breakup, you probably had an expectation about how your pregnancy experience would be. Now, those expectations have not come to fruition, and co-parenting and custody are an unexpected part of your future. Dashed expectations are always difficult to handle, especially if there is a long-term emotional investment involved.

Being pregnant is probably one of the most emotionally turbulent experiences a human can have. So, it’s important to maintain a sense of compassion for how you’re naturally responding to the situation.

An Opportunity To Revisit Your Relationship With Yourself

Even though it probably doesn’t feel like it, this change in plans could give rise to a renewed sense of intimacy and understanding of yourself. 

Many women report gaining mental and emotional clarity when pregnant, saying it allows them to see the world in ways that maybe they were afraid of before. Being away from your partner can give you the opportunity to reconnect with parts of yourself that you’ve forgotten, or suppressed.

This time could represent a moment of clarity for you to look inward and process your position in life without the distraction (and in some cases, the suffocation) of a serious relationship.

Now is the time to embrace all aspects of who you are—your past, your present, and your future, in whatever ways it may unfold.

There’s no point in pretending that dealing with a breakup while pregnant is easy. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a catalyst for other changes in your life that you may have been putting off for a while.

Ways To Cope

While holding space for the emotional and mental responses that are currently going on inside of you, it’s also important to focus on practical solutions.

Having a game plan for dealing and coping with the pregnancy will add structure to your life. Plus, it will enable you to tackle each challenge with more confidence.

Seeking guidance from others, reaching out for support, and finding constructive ways to cope with stress or anxiety are going to be your primary objectives over the next few months.

With the right approach, you and every other woman in this position can break through the inevitable struggles. You can create a life for you and your baby that is even better than you could have imagined alongside your ex.

Give yourself time to grieve

Grief is a normal response to any breakup, especially in your adult life. You’ve probably spent years investing time and energy into your past relationship. Now that it has come to an end, you are grieving all that was lost.

Grief can manifest in a variety of ways, and it is usually different for each person. Your experience with grief will not necessarily be the same as anyone else’s. You need to give yourself room to meet those feelings, no matter what they look like.

Crying, laughing, sleeping, or baking (yes, stress-baking is not an uncommon occurrence) are just some of the things you might feel compelled to do while processing grief.

Allow yourself the time and space necessary to process your grief in whatever ways feel natural. Freely and unapologetically holding space for your grief is the most effective way to process it.

Choose not to dwell on the past

When life hits you out of nowhere, it can be easy to want to relive the past. However, romanticizing and fixating on the past can prevent us from being fully present. With a new child on the way, being present is critical for their support.

In order to effectively manage your situation, you will need to show up for yourself and your future child in ways that can initially feel scary and daunting.

Looking at photographs of you and your ex, going through their old belongings—these are both things that feel tempting and comforting at the time. But often, they only result in more pain. Try to be strong in those moments and resist the urge to dwell on the past.

Lean on friends and family for support

This is not the time to feel shy about asking for help and support. Friends, family, neighbors, and loved ones of all kinds want to be there for you. Don’t be afraid to lean on them for support when things get tough, or even when you just need someone to talk to.

Anyone in your life who knows you and loves you almost certainly wants to help you get through this. You don’t need to feel guilty about needing support. It’s completely reasonable for you to lean on others during this time of confusion.

If somebody you trust offers to help you (whether it is financially, emotionally, domestically or otherwise), have the courage to take them up on that offer. You deserve to feel supported. Don’t be shy to speak up and vocalize your needs to those who care.

Try to make peace with your situation

There’s no point in fighting the reality of your situation. Even though it might take some time, and that is completely acceptable, making peace with how things have unfolded is the best way to take back charge over your life.

Making peace with your situation is not something that will happen overnight. It will probably come alongside a lifelong journey of self-acceptance.

You might be feeling angry, hurt, and ready to blame your ex for every hardship you are experiencing. However, those feelings can become destructive when left unchecked.

Where possible, try to make amends with your ex. If that’s not an option, aim to make amends with yourself.

The breakup has already happened, now you get to choose how you respond to your newfound independence. Will it be with peace and acceptance or anger and regret? Guess which one will be easier in the long run.

Find constructive ways to manage your stress levels

Everyone needs to know what their stress triggers are and how to manage their responses. In your position, it’s only natural to anticipate some stress and anxiety from time to time.

Rather than allowing this notion to send your head spinning, focus instead on constructive methods of stress management that you know you can rely on in times of distress. Having a plan of action for when things feel overwhelming will make you feel stronger and more prepared for life.

A walk in nature, calming breathing exercises, or watching your favorite movie with a friend can all help to reduce your stress levels. Make sure you have a list of feel-good activities prepped and ready to go when you need some comfort and grounding.

Focus on supporting your baby and your body

The perfect place to funnel your attention is sitting right under your nose—in your womb, to be exact. The admin involved in a serious breakup may be distracting. But the best place to invest your time and energy right now is directly towards your baby and the body that grows them.

Now is the time to pour all of your love, attention, and energy into the health and wellbeing of both your own body and state of mind, and that of your unborn child.

Focusing on keeping your body strong, happy, and nourished will mean that, in turn, your baby’s body is strong, happy, and nourished. Shower yourself and your baby in love through the forms of good food, gentle exercise, community bonding, and preparation for birth.

Remember that you are not alone

Even though it might feel at times like this is the worst thing that could have happened, it can be soothing to remember that this is an experience you share with millions of other women throughout the ages.

Remember that you are not alone. Not just in the sense that there are people around you who love and care for you. But also in the sense that you are certainly not the first woman to go through this process— and come out the other end happier and more fulfilled than ever before.

Yes, this is a huge change of direction for your life and your child’s life. But at the end of the day, you get to decide how this experience will unfold. You are going to get through this!

Introducing Kids to Their New Second Home After Divorce

New Second Home After Divorce

One of the main aspects of divorce that affects children is the fact that their parents are now going to live at different addresses and that their current home isn’t their only home any more. For them to fully accept their second home, both parents have to make an effort and make the transition smoother. Here are some ways to introduce your kids to their new second home without making it stressful for them.

Talk to Them

Children are more sensitive than adults and, when something as big as a divorce happens, you can expect them to have a lot of questions. However, it won’t always be easy for them to ask you those questions directly. They might be confused by everything going on, or they might be worried about upsetting you with what they need to know, so it’s possible that they’ll simply stay quiet if you don’t initiate the conversation. In any case, both you and your spouse should find time each day to talk to them, address their emotions and explain all that you can about the divorce and how you expect things to be in the future. This, of course, includes the new living arrangements. When you walk children through each step of the move, and especially if you include them in the decision-making, they’ll find the process less intimidating and consequently less stressful. For instance, if your children are old enough, you could ask for their input about where they’d like to live or at least how they want their room to be furnished. This allows you to bond with them and show them that their parents still adore them as much as they always have. Plus, knowing that they can turn to either of you for any problem or question they have will bring them some relief and reassurance, but it could also diminish their resistance to the imminent change.

Put Them First

Although parents love their children, want what’s best for them and generally put their children’s needs above their own, it’s sometimes extremely difficult to stay level-headed in certain situations, divorce being one of them. This is something you have to be very conscious about, and remember to avoid saying anything bad or to show any resentment or anger aimed at your spouse in front of them. Another crucial matter is that the new home should be adjusted to your children’s needs. This means that they have their own room, that the home itself and the neighborhood it’s in are safe and appealing and that the place has everything your child needs to feel comfortable. These home standards are also something that the courts tend to ask the parties in the divorce to abide to, which may vary from state to state. For instance, courts in Texas usually give parents joint management conservatorship, meaning that both parents have an equal say in the children’s upbringing, which means both homes are of equal significance for child rearing. However, their courts also have certain requirements about the new home, with regards to children’s safety and comfort. That’s why Texans usually don’t stray too far from their previous communities, but instead seek first-rate apartments for rent in Brownsville, that fall into all the safety categories courts might find fundamental. With their children’s best interest in mind, these parents opt for apartments with top amenities, where dogs and cats are allowed, as children feel more pleasant with their pet around.

Adjust the Place to Them

Last, but not least, always bear in mind that this is supposed to be your children’s home and that it should cater to their needs, but also their emotions and character. Let them pick the furniture and any decorations for their room. Perhaps you can even make the place more familiar for them by filling it with some of their favorite belongings. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should take all of those belongings from what they call home right now, as that might upset your children. Instead, make a list of some of their most treasured items and purchase the exact same ones to bring into the new home. Another option is to pack such objects when your children are switching between homes. This could provide your children with some comfort and ease some of their potential anxiety about the new home and the divorce itself. A home should be a joyous place for them, which can only be possible if the place is adapted to their preferences.

Keep It Tidy

A cluttered space can make you edgy, break your focus and decrease your productivity. This is why, if you want to function well in any space, you have to keep it tidy and get rid of any excess objects. As an adult, this is something you deal with daily, but when you have children, it’s vital that you take into account their well-being and put it first. Namely, children are also affected by clutter. It can make it difficult for them to process their thoughts and emotions, but it might also leave them frustrated, if they aren’t able to do their work or play in a manner they are used to. This can also prevent them from dealing with the divorce and having to live between two homes. In addition, when you’re trying to get them to like their new living space, making it cozy and appealing can only help your case. Start with limiting the number of decorative elements, toys and other belongings you fill your new home with. If there are too many things in a space that may not be as big as your previous family home, it can become crowded and messy soon, which your children may find unappealing and they might resist you when you want them to spend their time there. Make it your mission to clean and declutter the new home regularly, so that you create a calming and loving environment they’ll want to live in and that they’ll always gladly come back to, as that’s how a home should feel like for them.

Divorces are emotionally consuming and traumatic for adults, let alone for children. This is something every parent going through a divorce has in mind. It’s no wonder then that your focus is precisely on how to make the inevitable change as easy as possible on your children. Your attitude towards your partner and the cooperation between you is something you need to work hard on, as only that way your children will feel welcome, secure and equally loved in both their homes.

When Parents Divorce: How to Keep Your Kids Out of It

parents divorce

Divorce is without question challenging. Throw children into the mix, and a new series of challenges arise. It’s no secret that the average divorce rate in America is 42.6%.

For both parties, it’s best when parents divorce if matters can be handled with dignity and respect. If you are experiencing the unchartered territory of divorcing with kids, continue reading for the best strategies.

Respect Respect Respect

Respect is key. You and your ex may be navigating a nasty divorce. Tensions may arise, and tempers may flare. Children represent the best parts of you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

It is essential to understand that children are the innocent bystanders of divorce. A once-happy household suddenly split into two parts can be a huge adjustment for any child. Experiencing the anguish that comes as a result of separated parents or divorced parents can be life-altering. 

Regardless of any bitter feelings you may have, respecting your former partner will set a positive example for your child or children. Kids need to feel a sense of unity, even if parents are no longer together.

If you are a single mom or single dad, remember that life will move forward. Adjustments may be uncomfortable at first, but things will improve. 

Your child will feel more secure about the transitioning process if both parents are united and show respect for each other. If you are in stepmom or stepfather, you can show support by speaking positively around your child.

Tips for Handling a Divorce

Honesty is the best policy. Be honest with your child or children. Most importantly, make it clear that divorce is only between adults. You may have to remind your child several times that they are not responsible for the divorce. 

Depending on the age of your child will depend on how you break the news. Small children may not be old enough to understand what is transpiring entirely. Your toddler might be clingier than usual. 

You may find your teenager transform into an angry monster right before your eyes. All of these behaviors are perfectly normal.

Talk with your ex-spouse find ways to maintain unity if possible. It may take time and lots of practice but ensuring that you can communicate effectively will make a difference. 

Understanding Your Child’s Perspective on Parents Divorce

Take a moment to put yourself in your child’s position. 

Your child undeniably loves you and your former spouse very much. Try to gain insight into what your child might be feeling. Harness these feelings. Use them as momentum to be the parent your child needs you to be. 

Divorce is a difficult time for everyone involved. Once the smoke clears and routines are established, you may find a sense of relief. Maintaining an understanding of what your child is going through will encourage you to persevere moving forward.

Learn how to communicate with your former partner. You both want what’s best for your child or children. Removing any tension and negative emotions will allow you both to work together proactively. 

Positivity and Empowerment

A positive mindset will not only serve you well but your child also. Positivity is contagious. Learning to laugh during difficult times will make life oh so sweet during times of harmony.

Try to keep things as amicable as possible with your ex. Agree to keep kids out of your divorce to avoid any hard feelings. 

Enjoy spending quality time with your child. It would be best if you didn’t burden your child with the emotional toll of a pending divorce. Avoid discussing your ex or asking overly personal questions that could make your child uncomfortable.

Learn the power of positive affirmations. Practicing daily positive affirmations can transform your mindset. 

Seek Help if You Need It

A neutral third party can offer guidance when you need it the most. 

If you recognize that you are having difficulty navigating through a painful divorce, professional guidance can help. You should never feel ashamed asking for help.

Every individual is unique, handling challenges differently. The most important thing to remember is to do what you must to protect your child or children.

A trusted third party can give you the freedom to vent and healthily deal with your emotions. This support system will help you avoid unintentionally placing your child in the middle. 

Divorcing With Kids

It is essential to be as transparent as possible with your kids during divorce. Remember to address sensitive topics in an age-appropriate manner that your child can understand.

After all, divorce not only impacts you but any children you may have. Share important details about where each parent will live, be clear about who your kids will live with primarily. 

Be clear about plans for school, extracurricular activities, and continuing friendships. Providing your child with as much stability as possible during this time is essential. 

Be a Positive Role Model

Let’s face it. No one plans on getting divorced. 

From the moment you and your spouse say “I do,” you likely never imagined ending up in such a predicament. 

You and your spouse must agree to disagree. You may not see eye to eye on everything, and that’s ok. However, putting on a positive front for your children is a must.

If at all possible, try to keep the screaming matches and arguing away from the children. Rising tensions can have negative consequences on your child later in life. 

You and your spouse must tell your child together about the impending divorce. Details of why the divorce is happening are not necessary. Your children do not need to know about any of the issues in your marriage. 

Resources Are Available

A family counselor can be a tremendous asset. Be sure to schedule appointments with and without your children. Counseling sessions will help your family to prepare for the journey ahead during the transitioning process.

If seeking a family counselor is unattainable, consider speaking with your minister. If you don’t belong to a church, reach out to someone you admire and look up to for advice.

In addition to professional help,  fantastic resources are available to help you cope. 2houses has a plethora of valuable information. Topics such as co-parenting, communication, health, and more. 

A suite of tools is available on 2houses for a low monthly cost to assist you in staying organized. 

Embrace the Power of Calm

Learn to embrace the power of calm. Divorce is a challenging time. You may face times of uncertainty and self-doubt.

You may experience feelings of hurt towards the other spouse.

These emotions are normal and expected. However, refrain from acting on your feelings. Threatening to keep your child from your partner due to anger and pain will surely backfire.

Your spouse may feel the need to retaliate or exhibit feelings of anger and hate. This vicious cycle will continue that eventually could lead to family ruin. Your child or children will be the one that ultimately suffers. 

Learn to embrace your emotions even during times of discord. Your divorce doesn’t have to be this life-shattering event that dictates your future. Consider divorce an opportunity to rediscover yourself and solely focus on your children. 

Develop a Kids First Parenting Plan

A kid’s first parenting plan can be a tremendous asset during a divorce. The purpose of a parenting plan is to ensure that the best interest of your child is met. The first step in creating a solid parenting plan is understanding your child’s best interest.

Your child should be the main focus of the parenting plan. You should take into consideration your child’s interests, friends, hobbies, and school. Each of these factors is crucial to your child’s mental and physical development. 

Communicate with the other spouse to create a workable schedule. It is essential to be realistic.

Discuss how much time each parent is available to spend quality time with their child. Be sure to consider your needs and what will flow best with your schedule. It is essential to consider which parent lives closest to your child’s school.

Be practical when determining which parent can take your child to and from school. Holidays are another sensitive topic to put in your kid’s first parenting plan. Compromise while considering what is best for your child or children.

Try to be as sensible and practical as possible when developing your kid’s first parenting plan. Always keep in mind that your child comes first. 

Maintain Boundaries 

To protect your children from divorce, boundaries are critical. 

If you have anything you wish to communicate with your ex-spouse, be clear and direct. Avoid relaying messages to the other parent through your child. This could be disastrous, causing your child to feel caught in the middle.

Be sure to give your child plenty of space. Divorce is a sensitive matter, and your child will likely have emotions to work through. Keep things as civil as possible between you and your spouse. 

Consistency is key. Make an effort to be as consistent as possible in your co-parenting efforts. Healthy boundaries with your child include, avoid sharing too much information. 

Turn Your Home Into a Safe Haven

Divorce is a difficult time for all members of a family. Your home should become a place of sanctuary for your child. You would never want your child to feel unwelcome due to tension with your spouse. 

Greet your child or children with enthusiasm and excitement when they come for a visit.

Show interest in school activities and be a shoulder to lean on. The idea is for the divorce transition to be as smooth as possible. Your child or children will appreciate your efforts. 

If your child feels safe and loved, regardless of your decision to separate, this will make a world of difference going forward. 

Don’t Make Your Kids Choose

Speak positively about your spouse, regardless of how you may feel. Adult problems are just that, adult problems.

Your children are likely not old enough to fully understand the divorce process. Allow your children the ability to stay neutral during this time and encourage them to do so. 

It is in your child’s best interest to have a healthy relationship with both parents. 

Provide Reassurance and Support

This transformative period will be one of difficulty but also a great opportunity for your family. 

As your children navigate their new normal, provide plenty of reassurance and support. You may think you know what your child is thinking and feeling but you may also be surprised.

Your children may say that they are simply ok, as the world changes around them. Be sure to set aside time to talk with them when you have the opportunity. Checking in with your children is very important. 

You want to reassure them that your impending divorce is not a direct reflection of anything that they have done wrong. Divorce is confusing for kids, the details can be sticky and overwhelming. This can be a lot for children, even teens, to process. 

Stay Involved. No matter what, reassure your child that you wish to be involved. 

Let 2houses Help You

When parents divorce, 2houses is proud to offer a suite of tools to allow a smooth co-parenting partnership. This sophisticated interface allows for optimized communication regarding your child.

Your child deserves the best from both parents, after their parent’s divorce. 

A 14-day trial is available to try 2houses services and improve your family life. Unique features such as messages, calendar, info-bank, journal, and more can help set you up for co-parenting success. Contact 2houses today for more information on subscription services and pricing. 

Child Custody: Making Shared Custody The Right Of Every Child

Making Shared Custody The Right Of Every Child

Even the most amicable divorce can be overwhelming. Between splitting up assets, processing your feelings, and finding the right child custody agreement, you may feel like you have too much on your plate. 

If you’re struggling to navigate shared custody, you aren’t alone. You just need the right resources to help you through this process. 

Before you go looking for a top-rated child custody lawyer, read this guide.

We’ll tell you all about your child’s right to shared custody, and how to navigate the custody agreement process. 

Caring For Your Child After Divorce

The way you and your co-parent handle your divorce will shape the way your child views relationships. If you do it right, your child will be able to look to you as a model of healthy communication and conflict resolution. 

Your divorce can also be an opportunity to make sure your child knows that they are loved and valued by both of their parents, regardless of the status of their relationship.

Shield Your Child From Anger and Blame 

Divorce can cause children to take on guilt about their parents’ separation. Some children assume that the divorce is somehow their fault. Some may wonder if one of their parents no longer wants to be around them. 

Sometimes, these feelings can come from exposure to anger and bitterness. It’s completely normal to have some feelings of anger surrounding your divorce, but you should always try to protect your child from these feelings. 

This is especially true with young children. If a younger child sees you acting angry around the house, they may assume that they are the subject of that anger. 

Instead of showing your child anger, remind them often that both parents love them despite the imminent changes to your family dynamic. 

Check In With Your Child’s Mental Health

Divorce is likely to bring up some foreign feelings for your child. It will be understandably confusing for them to suddenly not live with both parents. 

Let your child know that it’s okay for them to feel nervous, upset, or irritable during this transition. These feelings are normal and will pass as they adjust to their new living arrangement. 

Understand that your child may act out during this adjustment period. Without giving up on your principles as a parent, try to cut them some extra slack and treat them with extra compassion.

If your child starts to exhibit long-term behavioral or mood problems after your divorce, don’t be afraid to get them some mental health care. Talk to a child psychologist if necessary.

Protect Your Child From Isolation

Many custody arrangements look something like, “Mom’s house during the week, Dad’s house on the weekends” (or vice versa). This can result in your child suddenly spending less time than usual with one parent. 

In the U.S., the number of children living only with their mothers has doubled in the past 50 years.

As long as both parents can provide a safe environment for the child, you should always strive for a balanced shared custody arrangement. Your child will be happiest when they can have quality time with both parents. 

That’s why the right to shared custody is so important to childhood development. You don’t necessarily have to split the time 50/50, but you should make sure quality parent-child time is a priority on both sides.

What Is Shared Child Custody?

Protecting your child from isolation means, when possible, designing a shared custody arrangement. But what exactly is shared child custody?

Shared custody means that your child alternates between living at both of their parents’ households. 

As we mentioned earlier, a custody arrangement can look like, “Mom’s house during the week, Dad’s house during the weekend.” It can also look like, “Mom’s house Monday-Wednesday, Dad’s house Thursday-Sunday.”

You can also rotate weekends to compensate for extra time during the week. For example, if a child spends the school week at their mother’s house, they may spend 2 out of every 3 weekends at their father’s house to keep things balanced.

Most custody agreements are legally binding. You can figure out a custody agreement through a few different branches of the legal system, which we’ll talk more about shortly. 

Making your arrangement legally binding is a good way to keep both parents accountable for it. 

The best custody arrangements are determined based on the parents’ desires, the parents’ means, and the child’s preferences. 

For example, if one parent has a very demanding job, it may not be wise for the child to spend weeknights at their home. If a child is thriving in a certain school system, you should consider doing what you can to keep them in that district during the week. 

Every shared custody arrangement is unique, and your family must find their own special balance.

Why Is Shared Custody Important? 

Why is shared custody the healthiest choice for most parents and children? There are three main factors that make shared custody so important. 

Your Child’s Development

Divorce impacts children differently depending on their age. While teenage children are likely to be able to understand the complicated factors that lead to divorce, younger children may not. 

If your child suddenly loses touch with one of their parents at a young age, they may have to heal from that feeling of loss when they’re older. 

When your child maintains a healthy relationship with both parents across multiple homes, they are likely to have a smooth development into adulthood!

Plus, a healthy custody arrangement can show your child how to handle conflict in relationships when they’re older. 

Your custody arrangement is your opportunity to teach your child about respect, honoring one’s word, and treating other people with compassion. 

Shared Parenting Responsibility 

Shared custody is not only beneficial for children; it also helps newly divorced parents. 

Learning to live on your own after divorce isn’t easy. Becoming the sole caretaker for your child at the same time would make it even more difficult. 

Be considerate to yourself and your co-parent by sharing parenting duties the way you did when you were married. 

You won’t benefit from overworking yourself, and neither will your child. Keeping your family healthy means keeping both parents within their means.

Maintaining an Amicable Divorce

Shared custody keeps you and your former spouse beholden to each other. This may seem stressful at first, but it’s a good thing in the long run. 

It is much easier to heal from your divorce when you and your co-parent have the wellbeing of your child to unite you. No matter how much distance there is between you, you will always agree on wanting what’s best for your child.

Of course, not every divorced couple can be on friendly terms. However, maintaining a civil and open line of communication with your former spouse is by far the healthiest way to re-imagine your family. 

How to Have an Open Conversation About Shared Custody

Broaching the subject of child custody isn’t always easy. Let’s go over three rules that you can use to guide you through this process. 

You can discuss child custody in the presence of a mediator, but you don’t necessarily have to. If you and your co-parent feel up to it, try coming up with an ideal custody plan without legal intervention.

Go In Knowing What You Want

Enter into your custody conversation with a clear idea of what you want. Consider your work schedule, your financial means, and what holiday arrangements work best for you. 

It’s important to go in with a clear idea of what you want so that you don’t leave the conversation feeling unsatisfied. 

This can also help keep you and your co-parent on track and prevent the conversation from devolving into an argument. Structure is your best friend when it comes to these difficult conversations. 

Be Prepared to Compromise

Go in with a clear idea of what you want, but don’t expect that plan to be your outcome. The purpose of a discussion about shared custody is to find an outcome that gives both parents as much of what they want as possible. 

Despite the circumstances that may have led to your divorce, you must try to treat your co-parent with compassion. Recognize that their desires are important, and hopefully, they will return the favor to you. 

Mutual understanding and kindness is the best way to reach a compromise that is genuinely satisfying for everyone involved.

Prioritize Your Child’s Wellbeing

The most important factor in your custody discussion is your child’s wellbeing. This should take priority over you and your co-parent’s personal preferences. 

Ask yourselves important questions, such as: how will this custody arrangement affect our child’s schooling? When will our child be able to see friends? Can both of our homes properly accommodate our child?

If your child is old enough, you should talk to them directly about what they would like their schedule to look like. 

Let your child know that they have the right to advocate for themselves. If they are unhappy with your custody arrangement, they should always feel comfortable voicing it.

Try Child Custody Mediation

If you and your co-parent cannot come to a custody agreement on your own, don’t worry. That’s perfectly normal, and mediation may be able to help.

A mediator is a neutral party that helps settle legal disputes without bringing them into a courtroom. 

Mediation is much less expensive than a child custody lawsuit. It can also be less emotionally taxing. 

Your mediator will sit down with you and your co-parent and guide the conversation. Their job is to guide your discussion and make sure you reach a compromise that suits both of you.

A mediator will not work in favor of just you or just your co-parent; they will always strive to be fair and balanced.

Mediators can be especially helpful to unmarried parents who need to design a custody arrangement after a breakup.

Hire a Child Custody Attorney

In some situations, you may need to hire a child custody attorney. This can be expensive, but there are also free lawyers for child custody out there. 

Child custody attorneys can really help when your divorce proceedings get messy. You should consider hiring a child custody attorney if: 

  • Your co-parent refuses to cooperate with a mediator 
  • Your co-parent refuses to honor a mutually agreed-upon custody arrangement
  • You fear your child may not be safe with your co-parent
  • Your child is disabled and/or requires special services or medical care
  • You and your co-parent live in different states

As you prepare for court, your attorney will help you understand the factors that affect custody rulings

Stick To Your Custody Arrangement

No matter how you come up with your custody arrangement, you should always stick to it. The more consistent your child’s home life can be, the better. 

It can be okay to bend the rules once in a while when special occasions come about. However, you should always communicate clearly about these changes with both your co-parent and your child. 

Your child will thrive in an environment where they always know what to expect. A regular schedule and clear communication is the best way to keep your child healthy and happy.

Honor Your Child’s Right to Shared Custody 

Child custody is a complicated subject, but you can always find a way to navigate it. Reach out to a child custody facilitator with any further questions you may have. 

Remember to honor your needs, your co-parent’s needs, and your child’s needs above all else. Shared custody arrangements work best when both parents practice empathy and understanding. 

With the right resources and hard work, family life after divorce can be happy and fruitful.

Divorcing Parents Turn to ‘Brainwashing’ Children in Custody Battles

children in custody battles

During the pandemic, many couples got divorced because of financial stress and other pressures that pushed them to the brink of their relationships. This has also revealed a lot of potential issues for other married couples.

Not only are people getting divorced but marriage rates are going down as people look towards the future. However, the process of divorce is not simple.

Children in custody battles are affected the most. They have to learn to adapt to new family setups and dynamics after being used to their home environment.

Partners start to wonder how to win a custody battle and they hire custody battle lawyers. Women worry about how a mother can lose a custody battle. Whereas fathers stress over custody battles often favoring the mother.

Ultimately, things can go wrong in a child custody battle and partners may try to turn the child against the other parent. 

It is important to know about what signs to look out for, how to protect your child, and how to create a new normal for your family. 

This article will prepare you for facing this challenge and how to navigate the difficult process of custody battles.

Divorce and Why It Happens

When you meet someone and fall in love you start imagining your life together. Where you’ll live, what house you will have, and all the special memories you’ll create in the future.

It all seems like a dream, until, you wake up one day and realize you do not want to be with your partner anymore. 

No one ever thinks it will happen to them and they wonder, why did this happen?

Divorce happens for many reasons depending on the situation, but there are some common reasons why people choose to separate. 

1. Differences

Even if you believe you have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, there might be some differences between the both of you that can cause trouble later on. 

At first, you may ignore them but after time they could start causing a lot of arguments and resentment in your relationship. These differences could include, children, goals, and religion. 

2. Finances

Being with someone is about more than just sharing a house, it means sharing finances and budgeting for your living expenses. Ultimately, people view money differently and this might create tension in your marriage. 

For instance, you could disagree about saving, spending, and sharing money with others. 

3. Communication 

In any relationship, especially marriage, talking is key to creating trust and intimacy. Even though communication brings you closer together, it can also push you further apart if you do not express your thoughts effectively. 

If you have communication problems, you will end up avoiding each other and not discussing important issues. 

4. Abuse 

Some people divorce their partners because they are victims of abuse. This involves physical as well as verbal abuse and can lead to someone wanting to leave their spouse. 

In this case, divorce is the only way to remove yourself from a dangerous situation and create a better life for yourself. 

These are a few of the most common reasons why people divorce, however, there are many more other issues that mean couples need to separate. 

Even though divorce is primarily between two partners, if you have children together it becomes even more complicated. Divorce leaves a lifelong mark on a child and they can suffer from emotional problems.

How Children in Custody Battles Are Affected

The way a child is affected by divorce varies from family to family. It all comes down to age, environment, and personality. Some children find the transition after separation harder than others. 

In those situations, the child can experience difficulties in school and emotional distress.

So, how are children in custody battles affected? 

Poor Grades

One of the first signs that your child is having a hard time adapting to your family’s separation is their school grades. This is because the change can make them feel confused and distracted from their studies. 

Children get used to routine and familiarity so when there is a big shift in their daily lives, it becomes more difficult for them to focus on tasks. 

Social Withdrawal

As well as school, children can remove themselves from friendship groups and withdraw from socializing. They can find it hard to relate to people and communicate their feelings when their parents are divorcing. 

When you are young, you feel alone with your problems as you are not aware that other people can have similar experiences. Meaning, children feel as if their family is the only one falling apart.

Therefore, they begin to withdraw into their own world and avoid others. 


Some children are more sensitive than others, and they may react strongly to divorce because they are trying to process the change. The consequence of this is they start showing other emotional signs of stress. 

For example, they could become:

  • Anxious
  • Angry
  • Irritable
  • Depressed

It is important to watch out for these behaviors as they might be signs that your child is having trouble adapting to your divorce.

Self-Destructive Behavior

If your child is older, they might begin getting involved in more dangerous and risky behaviors such as substance abuse and sexual activity. Studies show that children from divorced parents are more likely to break the law.

For instance, research shows that they drink alcohol earlier, and begin smoking tobacco and using drugs too. 

Children can be damaged by divorce in many ways, but sometimes, the effects are not only by consequence but they can be inflicted by the parent.

What does this mean?

Well, on some occasions, the parents may try to turn the child against the other parent to have better chances of winning a custody battle. 

Parent alienation syndrome coined by Dr. Richard A. Gardner in the 1980s is the term used when a parent tries to turn the child against their other parent. 

If the relationship does not end friendly there might be some festering resentment between the two parents. Then, the angry parent tries to convince the child that the other parent is the cause of their divorce.

Signs of Parent Alienation

When your partner is trying to brainwash your child into believing you are the reason for the family falling apart, there are a few signs you can look out for. This way, you can intervene before they influence your child even more. 

1. Negative Memories

Your child might only remember negative memories from their childhood or past family events. This means they do not have positive associations with their alienated parent and further distance themselves from that parent. 

Even if you remind them of certain memories, they will deny it and convince you it was different. 

2. Avoidance

Does your child keep avoiding visits? Do they tell your excuses to get out of a planned event together?

Well, this could be another sign that your spouse is trying to alienate you. This is evidence that they are trying to ignore you and might be getting told by the other parent to stay away from you. 

3. Mimic Behavior

You might begin noticing some similarities in your child’s behavior and your ex-partner’s. This could be as simple as repeating phrases or coping opinions that your ex-partner shared. 

When a child becomes brainwashed they start to mimic the parent’s behavior and start to get confused with their own thoughts. This means they form a robotic response when communicating with you. 

As well as this, they take on the stress of your divorce and get caught up in the middle of your tension with your partner. 

4. Ignore Your Advice

As a parent, there are times when you have to give advice and guidance to your child to help them overcome a problem.

However, when your child is ignoring you and only listening to your spouse this is another sign of alienation. Especially after a custody battle when you need to assert yourself individually as a parent. 

This is extremely difficult as your child does not respect your rules or decisions and constantly resists authority. 

5. Dislike Your Interests

Of course, when children grow up it is normal to break away from your parents and discover your own hobbies and interests. But, sometimes, your child ends up liking the same things as you. 

This means you form a bond over common interests and become friends as well as parents.

This is what everyone dreams of, right?

That being said, in some instances your child may start hating everything you like and loses interest in all your passions. As well as this, they could also begin avoiding your family and friends. 

They could begin disliking grandparents, family friends, or neighbors simply because they have a connection to you. 

Although all of these signs can be challenging when you a filing for divorce, there is hope for finding a solution and ensuring that your child does not suffer. 

How to Have a Happy Divorce

Statistics show that 40%-50% of marriages end in divorce, so there are many times when parents need to navigate divorce. If this is you, then you need to know the best ways to help your child adapt to their new normal.

First, you have to consider how you talk about the divorce…

Talk About Your Feelings

It is important to encourage your child to talk about their feelings and emotions about the divorce. They need to feel safe and secure when discussing it so they can open up about any problems they are feeling.

No matter what time they need to talk, you should be ready to listen! 

Embrace Changes

You can read all the information available about children and divorce but nothing prepares you for the moment you have to face it in real life. 

That is why embracing changes in your child is essential in helping them process the news. They might act out of character or withdraw so you need to be ready to adjust accordingly. 


When it comes to the logistics of divorce and shared custody, there are practical ways you can provide stability to your child. 

Gill Ruidant was once faced with the challenge of organizing custody of a child after divorce. He founded the company 2houses after realizing that there were very few tools to help parents manage the separation…

2houses is a platform aimed at supporting parents through the process of divorce by providing information and access to features such as a calendar, journal, finances, and messages. 

All of which are there to support you so you can continue to look after your child in the best possible way

Be Gentle to Yourself

Being a parent is not just about looking after your child, you need to make sure you are being kind and gentle with yourself. Plus, if you show emotions to your child they will feel more comfortable showing theirs. 

This openness can really help your child understand why you got divorced and comprehend the future without both parents together. 

Ideally, you and your partner can work on this together and give your child a stable setup even if you are no longer in a relationship. Just because you break up does not mean that there needs to be tension. 

If you explain to your child why it happened and reassure them that it is not their fault, then when they grow up they will be able to sympathize with your decision and forgive you for any issues it caused. 

Things Can Be Better Apart

Although we all wish that life would have a happy ending, life can throw things at us that we do not expect. When it comes to children in custody battles, you need to be aware of some complications that can happen.

Now that you have all the information you need to identify signs of parent alienation, you will be able to avoid this happening to your child. 

Then, you can focus on making the transition smooth and comfortable for your kid. Take a look at these excellent tips and useful tools for making sure your future is happy and peaceful. 

When Push Comes to Love: Be Realistic About Kids and Divorce

When push comes to love: kids and divorce

Kids and divorce are rarely separate. In the 1960s, 85% of children lived with both of their parents. By 2020, that number had dropped to 70% due to the rise in divorces.

You should not put off your divorce just because you have children. Yet you should be mindful of how young kids and divorce can affect each other. 

How exactly does divorce impact the well-being of children? How can you create a smooth process during the first weeks of your separation? How can you maintain a relationship with your child through time? 

Answer these questions and you can create a loving and respectful environment for your child. Here is your comprehensive guide. 

How Divorce Affects Children 

There is no way that all children react to divorce. But there are different ways that a separation can affect a child and generate different responses.

Distant Parents 

The Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale is an inventory of life events that contribute to a person’s stress. If someone experiences enough stressful events, they may suffer from health problems. The scale lists divorce as being the second-most stressful event that an adult can experience. 

The stress of divorce can cause parents to turn inward. They may spend less time around their children, or they may talk to their children less. 

Children learn from their parents and mimic their actions. A child may stop going to school or hanging out with their friends after seeing their parents grow distant. When they are in school, they may not perform their work well. 

Distance from parents can also be stressful. A child may lose their self-esteem because their parents are not affirming them. 

Disruption to the Schedule 

Many children rely on routines in order to function. Doing the same thing in the same ways every day allows them to remain focused on their work. 

A divorce may disrupt a child’s schedule significantly. A parent may be unable to pick a child up because they are at divorce court. They may have left the child’s house, preventing them from playing a significant role in their child’s life. 

A child may struggle with organization and time management. They may not be able to schedule playdates or after-school activities because their parent is not around. In particular, children with autism may feel very stressed after a disruption to their schedule. 

Intense Emotions 

Some children are perceptive. They may overhear or witness their parents fight, even if their parents try to move away from them. They may notice signs that their parents are upset with each other.

Their observations can create extreme emotions. They may become sad or angry watching their parents argue. They may blame themselves for an argument, especially if the argument is about schooling or discipline. 

When a divorce occurs, a child’s emotions may become magnified. But they may also feel a sense of relief. They may understand that the arguments will stop after their parents separate from each other. 

A child may not seem upset at first. But they may become emotional when the reality of the situation sets in. They may have a conversation with a friend about their parents that creates a negative response in them. 

Preconceived Notions of Marriage

Many fairy tales and childrens’ stories talk about love and marriage. Nearly all of them assert that love is eternal. Some of them use marriage to end on a happy note, stating that the characters will live happily ever after. 

Many young children assume that these stories are accurate. When they see their parents argue or hear about a divorce, they may not understand what is going on. They may think that their parents will get back together. 

Some children may feel like their stories lied to them and become upset. They may ask their parents to remove the books from their room. 

Letting Them Know About the Divorce

Even if you think your child knows about your divorce, you should have a conversation with them. It is important that both you and your co-parent are present.

If you are informing them about the divorce for the first time, both of you must be there. You do not want your child to feel like one co-parent cares about them more than the other. 

There are five things that your child should know about your divorce. They should know the reason why you two are separating. You should make it clear that they are not to blame for the separation and that they will not be separated from their parents.

They should understand how the divorce will impact their schedule, especially their school routine. At the same time, both of you should provide emotional support and clarify how you will help them out. You should then talk about how custody will work. 

This means that you should have a good idea of the terms of your divorce. You should have a meeting with your ex to work out the terms and figure out how you will talk with your child. 

Your conversation may be extremely difficult for you or your child. Be prepared to spend a long time talking to them. Answer their questions and take a break if anyone in the room is feeling overwhelmed. 

Maintaining Connections

It is okay for you or your co-parent to find another residence. But both of you should remain involved in your child’s life. 

As you are working on the terms of your divorce, adopt a roughly equal custody schedule. Have your child live with you for a week, and then give your child to your ex for a week. You can make any informal schedule you want, as long as your child is connected with both of you. 

After a judge has approved your terms, you must abide by them. But your child can give their co-parent a phone call or send them an email if they want. There should be multiple ways of connecting to either of you. 

If you are separating from an abusive spouse, you can limit your child’s access to them. You should talk to your family court judge about safety and custody arrangements. 

Teaching Kids About Love

Every parent should have a conversation with their kids about love. You should talk to them about what love is. Give them time to describe their feelings, including any crushes they have had. 

Make sure to break down different kinds of love. Romantic love is distinct from a platonic friendship. Talk about personal boundaries and how someone can express their love without crossing the line. 

Tell your child about how love is not always permanent. You can give them a few reasons for why loving relationships may end, including how people change over time. Try to avoid talking about things like infidelity. 

If your child brings up a story they read about the eternal nature of love, talk about it. Tell them that some couples do remain together while others separate. You can refer them to divorce movies that talk about how couples split apart.

Finding Housing Arrangements 

Both you and your co-parent should figure out your housing arrangements as soon as possible. This will give you a good foundation for custody and communication with your child. 

Your child should know where both of you live, even if only one of you has physical custody. This lets them feel close to both of you and makes it easier to plan family events. 

It is okay if you or your co-parent moves outside of the state. But your child should be able to reach both of you whenever they want to contact you. There should be opportunities for your child to spend time with both of their parents. 

You should also keep in mind your child’s housing needs. Birdnesting will allow your child to stay in one home while you and your co-parent rotate out. This is the least disruptive housing arrangement for your child. 

Creating a Smooth Transition Process

Try to keep things as normal as possible in the weeks after the divorce. Bring your child to school, drop them off, and supervise them while they are doing their homework. Attend their extracurricular activities and schedule playdates for them and their friends.

Send the message to your child that there will be some disruption. But most of their life will remain the same.

You should have the same expectations for chores. You should also discipline your child in the same way you always have. 

You should talk to your child’s teacher, doctor, and other important people in their life. You should tell them about your separation, though you don’t have to go into personal details. This will allow them to make adjustments so your child feels more normal. 

As time goes on, your child will adjust to their new situation. Yet they may feel some grief or sadness on the anniversary of your separation. Be with them on that day and try to have a conversation about their feelings. 

Adjusting to Their Changing Moods

Many people’s feelings about love and marriage change as they develop their own romantic relationships. A child may feel like their parents did not have good reason to separate.

A co-parent may disparage their ex in front of them, affecting their view about the separation. A child may even take sides and refuse visitation with their parent. 

Don’t take visitation refusal too personally. Talk to your child about what is going on and try to go with the flow. 

Never criticize your co-parent in front of your child. If they tell you that your ex has been criticizing you, do not return the favor. Tell them that you love them and figure out a resolution with your ex. 

Spending Holidays

Dealing with divorce and kids is a big problem during the holidays. Your child may feel emotional because the holidays are supposed to be family time. 

Consider a few approaches that can satisfy your child. If you don’t have a birdnesting arrangement, you can adopt a temporary one for the holidays. You can send them to live with another relative while you and your ex cycle out. 

Both of you should spend time with them on the holidays themselves. You can visit them on Christmas morning and then your co-parent can take over for the afternoon.

If the two of you live in different states, you can split up the holidays. One of you can take custody on Christmas while the other takes custody on New Years Day. 

You should otherwise try to create a sense of normalcy. Follow good rules for creating a happy Christmas with separated parents like giving gifts. 

Introducing Partners and Stepkids

You do not have to find a new partner right after you separate from your old one. Take the time you need to process what just happened and recover from it. 

Stepkids and divorce can get very messy. It is okay to pursue a new partner and have a relationship with their children. But you must keep in mind your own child and maintain your ties with them. 

Wait until some time has passed before you introduce your partner and step kids. Have conversations with everyone involved, including your ex. 

Set clear boundaries for everyone involved. Your child and your stepkids should not fight with each other, and you should spend private time with each of them. If you do not want your new partner disciplining your child, you should tell them so.

Your child may be distressed that you are pursuing a new relationship. Do not ignore or become offended by their feelings.

Talk to them about what your new relationship will be like. Tell them that you will maintain a strong bond with them, even as you are spending some time with someone else. 

How to Make Kids and Divorce Go Smoothly 

Kids and divorce can become complicated fast. Many children feel extreme disruption from divorce, in part due to simplistic portrayals of love in stories. 

You should affirm your child from the outset by informing them of the separation. Both you and your co-parent should be involved in their life. 

Teach your child about love and respect for other people. Be prepared for separation refusal and anger over your new relationships. 

You can find tools that will help you with divorce and kids custody. 2houses lets you communicate and organize your life as a co-parent. Register for your account today.

How to Successfully Co-Parent a Child of Divorce

Child of Divorce

Let’s face it – divorce is a time-consuming, emotionally draining, and costly process. It’s an indelible lifetime decision with far-reaching consequences to partners and their children. However, in some instances, divorce is a regrettable necessity and unavoidable.

Do you know there were more than 700000 divorce cases in the US in 2019? Also, by the age of 9, more than one in five kids will experience a parent breakup. So, what becomes of a child of divorce?

If you have children, co-parenting is necessary to raise the children. But co-parenting is not plain sailing. You’ll need to co-parent to raise loving, stable, and healthy children while living separately.

While it’s difficult, many happy divorced parents and adult children can attest that co-parenting is doable. You can easily navigate the challenging process with the right tips, such as a coparenting app. This helps to achieve a happy and balanced upbringing while minimizing the adverse effects of divorce on your kids

Are you at your wit’s end wondering how co-parenting will work? Worry no more; here are crucial tips to help you successfully co-parent a child of divorce.

Your Child of Divorce Needs Come First

Regardless of the issues that led to divorce, you have to put your children’s well-being first at all times. Know that the children are also traumatized by the divorce, and this can negatively impact their future lives. Co-parenting lays the foundation for determining how successful and healthy children’s relationships will be.

Putting your kids on the front can be hard, especially if the divorce is messy. However, you need to prioritize the security and stability of your children put your differences beside you. It implies you ought to go the extra mile, even if it’s working with a family therapist.

This can help reverse messy and charged situations to peaceful and collaborative co-parenting. If past marital problems start taking over co-parenting, remind yourself you need to focus on your children.

Communicate Effectively

Similar to any other relationship, communication is key in co-parenting. As a rule of thumb, it’s imperative to find an effective communication strategy.

But how can you achieve this when ineffective communication led to divorce?

If the breakup resulted from ineffective communication, it’s not easy to change after divorce; in fact, it can be worse. But it doesn’t have to be; change your mindset first. The goal is to achieve consistent, purposeful, and peaceful communication with your co-parent.

Think about the purpose of your communication being your child’s wellbeing. To enhance communication in co-parenting, understand your own limitations and strengths. Prior to reaching out to your co-parent, always take a moment to think about how your action will affect your child.

Communicating effectively doesn’t necessarily mean face-to-face communication is a must. Contacting via email, calls, or text can be effective in most conversations. Here, the aim is to determine the most suitable conflict-free communication for you.

At all times, make it your ultimate goal to carry yourself with dignity. Make your child the prime focus of every discussion you have with your ex-partner.

If necessary, work with a therapist to make sure your communication gets across in the right way.

Here are several methods to start and maintain effective communication with your ex-partner;

Have a Formal Communication

When interacting with your co-parent, use a business-like tone. Think of your relationship as a business partnership with your kid’s wellbeing being the business. At all times, communicate with your ex-partner like they are a colleague.

Write or speak to them with cordiality, neutrality, and respect.

Make Requests

To avoid misinterpretation of statements, frame your communication as a request. For instance, rather than ‘can you….’ try using ‘would you be willing to…?’

Be an Attentive Listener

To achieve effective communication, both parties must listen to one another. Even when disagreeing, it doesn’t have to be a conflict between the two of you. Show them you understand their opinion but don’t agree and give your reasons.

Show Restraint

When interacting with your ex-partner, it’s easy for anger emotions to manifest. This can even be worse if the ex-partner keeps pushing the buttons.

But you don’t have to react to everything they say or do. This interaction is likely to last decades, and you don’t have to live fighting.

Stay on the Same Page for Big Stuff

A perfect co-parenting scenario could be where both partners agree. They are consistent with rules regarding discipline and behavior.

But can this really be when your parenting styles are different? Absolutely not, especially when you had parenting differences even before separating.

You don’t have to debate about everything and anything concerning your kid. You can trust each other to micromanage the daily parenting decisions.

However, be assured everyone is responsible and committed to bringing up the kid in the best way.

This can really help to avoid little and unnecessary conflicts that would paint the bigger picture.

However, every party must be involved in making big decisions. These include children of divorce schooling, medical care, and religious upbringing.

If you can’t agree on this major decision, you might want to seek a mediator or counselor’s help.

Use a Coparenting App

Have you heard of a co-parenting app yet? No, read more to find out.
co-parenting app is a digital smartphone application developed with the needs of co-parents in mind. They are designed to help co-parents communicate effectively and easily to avoid conflicts.

In co-parenting, it’s easy to misinterpret a text, forget important dates, or lose track of an important email. These are some of the causes of conflicts in a co-parenting relationship. To avoid these, you need a co-parenting app.

Most co-parenting apps come with a feature allowing you to list all your kid’s child care, medical providers, and education. Also, you can list different contact information necessary for proper child-rearing. This information will be available to both co-parents without them having to communicate directly.

In addition, a co-parenting app allows you to keep a permanent record of all communication between you and your ex. In case of a dispute, you can download and print these communication records as evidence.

There are multiple co-parenting apps today, and rest assured to find one to make your co-parenting journey easy.

Don’t Badmouth Your Co-parent

While you’ve got a beef with your ex, don’t speak negatively about them before your kids. Remember, little ears can hear too. Also, if you need to vent frustrations about your ex, talk to your adult friends, parents, or better, a therapist.

While it might feel justifiable, don’t disparage your co-parent in front of the kids, regardless of the reason. Also, you deserve the same amount of respect.

Remember, your kids will get a crystal-clear picture of their parents when they are adults. If your ex is a bad person, once an adult, the children will get their own realization without you saying anything.

To cool down and let the frustrations go, talk badly about your co-parent to adults.

Find Forgiveness

It’s understandable; forgiving your ex is not on your to-do plans. But do you know forgiveness is powerful, and it takes a strong person to forgive? You do not forgive to get back together but heal and present a strong lesson to your children.

They say times heals everything, and surely it does. As time pass, work on forgiving yourself and your ex for the failed relationship. It comes with healing, and you can improve your quality of life, thus offering your children the best support.

Make an Effort to Stay Positive

To keep you going, focus on the good side of your ex-partner. Show your kid’s the other partner is remains valuable even after separation. Highlight the strengths of your co-parent in the presence of your children.

For instance, “Your daddy has always been a good dancer; he can teach you great moves!” Or “Your mommy is a great cook, isn’t she?” Such statements help the children feel safe, and they can also speak positively about both parents even in their absence.

Also, remember staying positive isn’t just important for your kids; it benefits you too. By maintaining a positive outlook, you also improve your own well-being and overall health.

Empathy First

When starting the co-parenting journey, empathy won’t be a virtue to any of you. However, depending on your separation reasons, this can remain so.

However, at all times, you want to show empathy to your children.
Before doing or saying anything, think about the perception of your kids.

Before reaching out to your co-parent on the phone to vent about child support, think about your kid. Put yourself in their shoes listening to such conversation.

Contemplating how they will perceive that conversation and react is enough to make you stop making the call. If your child is close, use other communication means where they don’t have to hear any conflict ensuing.

Practice Self-care

To take care of your children, you must be in the right physical, emotional and mental health, right? This is why you must also take some time each day for self-care. This could vary depending on your interests, needs, and lifestyle.

You may consider a positive affirmation, exercising, going for a massage, or even taking a nature walk. Constantly remind yourself that you are important and valuable and a good parent. Even with the current situation, remain positive and don’t give up on yourself.

Being in great shape also means you can actively integrate with your parenting plan.

Be Smart About New Partners

You won’t remain single forever, right? But what happens when you and your ex get into new relationships? What will befall the kids and your co-parenting roles?

It’s important to discuss the roles of new partners in raising your children.

It’s recommendable to involve a new partner in making children-related decisions once they have been embedded in the family structure. Also, a new partner should not become a representative to communicate with your ex on matters related to children.

For the best interest of your kids, discuss how new partners can contribute to child-rearing decisions. If you agree to involve them, ensure they are committed to keeping your children’s wellbeing at the forefront.

Stick to Your Parenting Schedule

Once you set your co-parenting schedule, don’t tinker with it. Parenting arrangements can help organize your time and make the children feel secure and loved. You’ll be dishonoring your kid if you modify the schedule often or cancel your parenting time.

Children should feel they can count on their parents being available to them at all times. Don’t dodge your parenting time thinking you are teaching the kid to be flexible. They might get it the wrong way, and this might make them think you don’t love them.

In case of unavoidable situations, communicate and negotiate with a co-parent to know the best course of action. Even in co-parenting, your child needs structure and predictability.

Remain Neutral

Depending on their age, your children may not be enlightened to understand exactly what’s going on. They might ask questions like,” Why doesn’t daddy live with us anymore?” Regardless of why you are not together, portray a positive picture of your former spouse to the kids.

You don’t have to come open about everything that happened between you. Ask these questions with your children in mind and not the hate or anger towards the partner. Tell them you disagreed and separated, but you will always work together to ensure the kids get the best

Use the Above Tips to Co-parent a Child of Divorce Successfully

Co-parenting is not easy but necessary for a happy and healthy upbringing of your children. Knowing the key tips and tricks can help when you are getting started or seeking to improve your co-parenting journey. Also, find other solutions that could help, such as a coparenting app.

The above co-parenting tips are invaluable when raising a child of divorce.

Are you looking to better co-parenting after divorce? At 2houses, we got you covered. We help separated parents to communicate and become organized for their children’s well-being.

Contact us today to improve your co-parenting journey.

A Simple Guide on Creating a Child Custody Agreement Peacefully

Child custody agreement


Separation under any circumstances is difficult. Whether you separate peacefully, with conflict, with a child, or without a child, separation is hard. If you don’t have a child, you can separate with your partner at each other’s necks and once the settlements are finished, you can dust off your hands and be done with it. You do not have to maintain pleasantries. 

However, if you have a child, amicable collaboration is quintessential to ensure the happy and healthy development of your child, no matter your feelings for your ex-partner. You absolutely have to put the needs of your child first, and your contempt for your ex-partner second. There is no other way. 

This starts from the very get-go when settling your child custody agreement. Understand, listen and be respectful to what your ex-partner has to say. Treat the relationship like a business partner or colleague, and your business being the life of your child. 

In this article, we provide our best tips and advice, so you can successfully reach a child custody agreement peacefully, and co-parent in the best interest of your child: 

  • 4 Tips to Set Hurt, Anger and Contempt Aside When Dealing With an Ex-Partner 
  • 7 Tips to Improving Communication With an Ex-Partner 
  • 5 Tips for Co-Parenting After the Child Custody Agreement. Team Work Makes The Dream Work! 
  • How to Make a Parenting Plan!

The 2 Pillars For a Peaceful Child Custody Agreement 

When settling a child custody agreement, there are two foundation principles that you absolutely must do if you want to settle peacefully, which will definitely benefit your child. 

  • Set Your Hurt, Anger and Contempt Aside and Focus on the Needs of Your Child!
  • Communicate Often, Communicate Clearly, Communicate With Respect.

Undergoing a settlement requires a lot of patience and organisation. Divorce law rules, divorce lawyers, and divorce laws are frustrating. Hopefully, you can settle outside of the courtroom. Conducting yourself and your ex-partner with respect, as if you were business associates, will leverage you both in the best possible position to raise your child with dignity. Don’t think about the process as trying to beat your ex-partner in court, instead, try and work out what will be best for your child and set the guidelines for how you both will successfully co-parent.

4 Tips to Set Hurt, Anger, and Contempt Aside When Dealing With an Ex-Partner 

Setting aside your feelings for an ex-partner is a herculean task, especially if they are negative and you have to keep seeing your ex-partner. However, there are things you can do to help with the process: 

1. Talk to Someone About Your Feelings, but never your child:

You should never, ever, talk disparagingly about your ex-partner to your child. That to them is still someone they love and rely on deeply and can make them very uncomfortable. Instead, set up a support network of friends and family you can lean on, or get the help of a therapist. You don’t want to risk a blow-up with your ex-partner at the risk of your child’s wellbeing. 

2. Think of Your Child

If you are ever feeling overwhelmed, think about the care and love you have for your child. Remember why you’re doing it all. Think of the benefits and how great your child’s life will be thanks to your efforts. Bad times are temporary, it will be worth it if you hold on!

3. Never Shoot the Messenger, Or Even Risk It!

You should never, ever use your child as a messenger. This can put your child in the middle of the conflict between you and your ex-partner. If your ex-partner uses your child as a messenger, don’t be angry at your child, they are just doing what they are told. Use email, phone or online parenting platforms like 2houses to communicate. 

4. Keep Your Issues to Yourself: 

Your child has the right to choose where they want to go for themselves. Do not get angry at them because of your ex-partner. They have the right to a great relationship with both of their parents. 

7 Tips to Improving Communication With an Ex-Partner 

Communication between you and an ex-partner can be like extracting teeth. Slow and painful! But it is essential to organising and creating a successful, dynamic parenting plan for the development of your child. Here are seven tips on how to do it:

1. Act Professionally 

The best way to communicate with your ex-partner is to act like you’re conducting a business deal, and the topic of discussion is the wellbeing of your child. Talk clearly, respectfully, and neutrally. Removing emotion and keeping discussions on your child will make things easier.

2. Ask, Don’t Demand

When dealing with an ex-partner you feel begrudgingly toward, it might feel like you have to make demands to “win the battle” and “set the record straight”. When dealing with your child, try to make requests, rather than demands. Phrase sentences like “would you mind if I…” instead of “I am…”. 

3. Listen to Your Ex-Partner 

This might be difficult if they accuse you of never listening or they never listen themselves, or you don’t agree with what they’re saying. But listening is important for mature conversation. You don’t have to agree, but you do have to acknowledge and register what they have said.

4. It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint 

Exercise some restraint when talking to your ex-partner. Try not to overreact to the buttons they try to push. This arrangement is going to last longer than the conversation you’re having with them right now, it’s going to last your child’s entire life. Having a screaming match at every little thing will be torture in the long run. Don’t win the battle, win the war that is your child’s wellbeing. That is the ultimate victory.

5. Talk Regularly

It is hard, and you might hate doing it, but you have to talk. You need to be on the same page with your child’s development so you can implement your parenting plan. Appearing like you’re talking to your child will also make them more comfortable. 

6. Talk About Your Child

There’s no need to talk about the weather to someone you hate. Stick to the point and talk about your child, and talk about them lots.

7. Recognise When You’re Getting Angry

When your ex-partner starts pushing on some very familiar buttons that have been pushed before, recognise it. Recognise what they are doing and when you start to get angry so you can avoid a blow-up. The most important thing to do is remain calm. 

5 Tips for Co-Parenting After the Child Custody Agreement. Team Work Makes The Dream Work! 

Via Pixabay

Even outside of the child custody agreement, there will be many points of pain and difficulty. But it does not matter, you will endure because you must. Your child depends on it! Just because you and your ex-partner are no longer romantically engaged, it doesn’t mean you aren’t a team. So act like it! Here are some tips on how you can create a co-parenting plan together that works:

1. Rules & Schedules 

Different roofs, same rules. You and your ex-partner need to be on the same page. If your child is under punishment in one house, it should translate to the next. If there is only one hour of computer per day in one house, it should translate to the next. If bedtime is 7:30 in one house, it should translate to the next. If there is a reward for good behaviour or celebrations for a great achievement in one house, it should translate to the next! Children thrive on routine, this shouldn’t be compromised from your split. 

2. Delegate Responsibilities

For sure, on major issues, you should collaborate together to form a parenting plan. But in day-to-day operations and contact, delegating responsibilities isn’t a bad idea. Maybe you look after your child’s sport, while your ex-partner deals with medical affairs, or music lessons. Work it out between yourselves. 

3. New Partner Alert 

So your ex-partner has a new love interest. So what? You’re separated. It might be difficult to see, but new partners are inevitable. This shouldn’t affect your parenting. It could even be a good thing for your child!

4. Alternating Houses 

Your child can sometimes have anxiety about moving between yours and your ex-partner’s dwelling. You should maintain a schedule, like a week-on-week-off arrangement where your child shares houses. Remind your child a day or so before that, they will be moving and pack their bags early, so as to not forget important things like stuffed toys.

5. Compromise 

You need to be flexible with your ex-partner. This means compromising to them just as much as they do to you. Small issues like if your child should go to bed at 7:30 or 8:00 aren’t worth fighting over. 

Make a Parenting Plan!

Throughout this article, I have mentioned a parenting plan. Making a parenting plan is very important. Having calendar, financial and communication goals will align both of you on the best road to success.  You can speak with a legal counsel in establishing an effective and equal parenting plan for both parents.

Online platforms like 2houses offer a cloud-based service that makes this very easy. Both you and your ex-partner being able to access your goals anywhere, at any time, thanks to the cloud, will prove to be a huge advantage in your parenting.

DIY Divorce: 8 Things to Include in Your Parenting Plan

Your Parenting Plan

The average cost of a divorce in the United States is $12,900, but if you and the other parent are in agreement on your divorce terms, you may not need to do everything with lawyers. DIY divorces are becoming more and more popular and for good reason. However, if you have children, it’s important to make sure that your parenting plan is thorough and includes everything required in your state. Keep reading to learn more about DIY divorce and how to make sure your parenting plan is done correctly.

What Is a DIY Divorce?

A DIY divorce is when you and the other parent agree on the terms of your separation and then complete and file the paperwork yourselves. Usually, there are no lawyers involved, and there are many sites available that walk you through the process of finding the right forms for your state and filing with your local family court. These types of divorces are often filed as dissolutions.

DIY divorces can be extremely beneficial in that they’re much cheaper, usually only costing a few hundred dollars including the filing fee, and don’t require multiple visits to the family courts for hearings. However, they only work when both parties are in agreement over the terms, and even then, it’s important to be careful if there are children involved. The courts often have very specific requirements about what a parenting plan can or cannot cover, and you’ll have to conform to those requirements or the judge could dismiss your case and refuse to move forward until different paperwork has been filed.

8 Things to Put in Your Parenting Plan

As you’re drawing up your parenting plan, you want to be as specific and thorough as possible for what your unique family situation needs while also meeting the court’s requirements. Here are eight things to make sure your parenting plan covers.

1. Custody and Visitation

How custody and visitation time will be split is something that is required by every state for a parenting plan. When you’re deciding custody, keep in mind that you will need to lay out the specifications for legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody centers around who gets to make decisions. This can be sole legal custody, which means if the two parties can’t decide on a matter, the parent who has sole legal custody gets the final say. If you have joint legal custody, it means that you both have to agree or the matter has to go before a judge to be decided.

Physical custody refers to actual time spent with the children. In most cases, the courts now prefer joint physical custody arrangements. This can be done in many ways, from a true 50/50 split to 70/30, 80/20 or anything in between. You’ll want to make sure you outline the physical custody decisions and what you plan to use as a visitation schedule, even if you don’t think you will need it. This ensures both parents have something legal to fall back on if they disagree later on.

2. Shared Expenses

In most states, child support is completely unrelated to the divorce or custody arrangements and is decided by the formula the state uses. This means you likely won’t need to have anything about child support in your paperwork unless you specifically want to deviate from the state standards. What you do want to make sure you include is how other expenses will be paid.

Think broadly and consider that your children will get older and expenses will change. For example, you may need to work out who pays what percentage of preschool now, but you’ll also need to think about extracurricular fees for sports when they get older, orthodontia and college tuition. There are also shared medical expenses.

It’s a good idea to make a list of all the possible expenses and categories for now and in the future, and then go through each one with the other parent and decide who is paying what and what percentages if you are going to split some expenses. It’s also a good idea to specifically write in how one parent will reimburse the other. For example, will they provide a check or will they do a mobile payment through an app like 2houses.

3. Holiday and Special Days Schedule

While the physical custody agreement will lay out how the standard visitation schedule will work, you’ll still need to consider other situations, such as holidays and days of special meaning like birthdays. The default schedule for holidays through the courts usually has the parents alternating holidays, but if you know another arrangement will work better for you, it’s a good idea to include it.

Summer vacations and school breaks are also important to consider. Keep in mind that what you put into the parenting plan is really only a fall back if you aren’t able to work things out with the other parent. If your situation is amicable, you can still make adjustments and agreements on the fly together.

4. Future Partners

While you may not be considering dating or remarriage right now in the midst of divorce, it’s likely that this will become an issue for one or both parties at some point. Some parents put provisions into the parenting plan for when a parent can introduce a significant other to the kids or that the kids won’t call a step-parent “Mom” or “Dad.”

5. Right of First Refusal

Right of first refusal is something that many parents wish they would have added into their parenting plan but is also something that’s usually forgotten. Right of first refusal means that if one parent can’t care for the children during their parenting time, such as because of a work conflict, the other parent gets the first right to that time. This is designed to ensure the children spend as much time as possible with the parents instead of babysitters and other caregivers.

Keep in mind, however, that you can’t use the right of first refusal to keep the children from spending reasonable time with extended family. If the other parent is home and able to care for the children and is just sending them to spend an afternoon at grandma’s, this wouldn’t count as a right of first refusal situation.

6. No Negative Comments

Most states’ standard parenting plans have a paragraph in them that states that neither party will talk badly about the other parent or make negative comments in front of the children. It also sometimes extends to not allowing other people, such as relatives, make negative comments about a parent in front of the child. It may seem unnecessary, and it is hard to enforce in the courts, but it’s a good thing to also put in your DIY divorce paperwork because it serves as black and white reminder that you’re supposed to be supporting a positive coparenting atmosphere.

7. Coparenting Communication

On the subject of coparenting, talking about how you plan on communicating with each other and putting that in writing for clarity in the parenting plan is suggested. Even if you have a great relationship with the other parent and are able to casually call and text for plans and updates, it may still be advantageous to spell out that you’re going to use a coparenting app for official communication. 2houses lets you keep message records and lets you know when the other parent has seen your message. It also has lots of other great features aimed at making coparenting easier, such as expense tracking and a shared calendar. 

8. Making Changes

No matter how thorough you are in creating your initial parenting plan, it’s almost guaranteed that something will come up eventually that you haven’t anticipated. For this reason, you may want to add a clause in the parenting plan about how you’ll deal with changes, whether that’s a jointly agreed amendment or going to mediation.

If you’re not sure about a certain aspect of your parenting plan or divorce documents or negotiations turn sour, you may end up needing to consult with a family law attorney to find out your next steps.

COVID-19 Decisions: Which Parent Gets to Make Them

Covid-19 Coparenting Decisions

The COVID-19 pandemic struck the world in early 2020, and it caused a change of life for many. Between lockdowns, mask mandates, online schooling and supply chain issues, it’s been difficult to navigate this new normal. It’s also brought about strong feelings on both sides, and this can cause coparenting challenges if you and the other parent aren’t on the same page.

It can be confusing in a coparenting situation to know who gets to make the final decisions on which issues if both parents don’t agree, but understanding the processes the family courts have for this is important. Below, we take a look at some of the common coparenting decisions that have come up with COVID-19 and discuss who gets to make these decisions and what you can do if you want to change that.

Possible Coparenting Decisions Surrounding COVID-19

The guidelines around COVID-19 continue to change, and it can be difficult to keep up with what the latest recommendations are. However, there are two main areas that COVID-19 has affected when it comes to coparenting and your children: education and medical decisions. Here are a few of the common decisions parents are facing right now.

Where Your Child Will Go to School

When COVID-19 caused many schools to go virtual in 2020, it created a unique challenge for parents. They were suddenly faced with trying to make sure their children were learning and staying up with schoolwork while also navigating their own jobs and the general changes to the world. Some parents found that they really enjoyed the time they had with their children or were surprised at how much time children were just staring at a screen and not really learning in virtual school. Even as schools went back to in-person school, mask mandates, vaccine recommendations and COVID-19 guidelines also had some parents wondering if it was the best choice for their family.

But what happens if you think your children should go to in-person school but the other parent is very against it and wants to do online school or homeschool? This isn’t something that really lends itself to compromise, and it can be something that both parents feel equally strongly about.

Whether Your Child Will Get the Vaccine

As of October 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine was available for those aged 13 and up, but trials were in process for vaccines for younger children. Whether your child gets a vaccine is a medical decision, and it can be very difficult to navigate if you and the other parent aren’t on the same page. It can also create issues if one parent is vaccinating their family and the other parent isn’t. What happens to the joint children as they go between houses? This issue can have far-reaching consequences into visitation schedules and can cause a great deal of conflict between the coparents.

Whether Your Child Should Wear a Mask

Masking is a major debate in some countries, including the United States where it has become a political issue with extreme and vocal opinions on either side. Usually, the children actually have far less strong of an opinion on this subject than the parents do, but if the parents do disagree on this matter, it can put the child in the middle and create conflict. While some parents may take a stand of letting each parent choose whether or not to have the child wear a mask during their parenting time, this issue can also affect where the child goes to school and what extracurricular activities they can participate in.

What Happens If Your Child Gets Sick

The original COVID-19 strain didn’t seem to affect children in the same way it did adults, but variants such as Delta have started to change that. More children are getting sick with the virus, and even if they don’t get severely ill, it can cause some problems. For example, will the child continue to follow the normal visitation schedule when they’re sick? This is common, but what happens if the other parent doesn’t want to risk bringing COVID-19 into their household.

If your child is one of the few who gets severely ill, you may also be facing significant challenges in who gets to visit the child at the hospital and who will get to make the decisions regarding the child’s method of care.

Who Gets to Make the Decisions?

Who gets to make medical and educational decisions is determined by what kind of custody you have and if there are any specifics in your custody order or parenting plan. You’ll want to look at what your papers say about legal custody. It’s common to get confused between legal and physical custody. Physical custody is time sharing and visitation schedules; legal custody is the basis for decision-making.

If one parent has sole legal custody, then that’s the parent who has the right to make education and medical decisions for the children. If the other parent disagrees strongly enough, they can bring it to the courts, but there is a large burden on them to prove that there is some reason that the custodial parent is acting outside of the child’s interests.

If you have joint legal custody with the other parent and there are no specific provisions in your parenting plan about who gets to make these decisions, the bottom line is that the court expects you to come to an agreement on your own. If you can’t, your option is to go to court. While the judge may order you into mediation, these situations usually end in a lengthy trial where both parents present their cases and then the judge makes the final call on what will happen.

As you navigate these new challenges that are coming up with COVID-19, you may realize that there are some specific points in your parenting plan or custody agreement that need to be amended or that there are new things you want to include. In this case, you’ll need to file a motion to go before a judge and have the agreement officially changed. If you and the other parent agree to the changes, it can be as simple as filing a joint motion. The courts generally are willing to adopt changes that both parents agree on. However, if you want something changed and the other parent doesn’t, it can mean having to go all the way through the family court system.

Keep in mind that any time you go through the family court system, it can be extremely stressful for both the parents and the children. It’s almost always best to try to come to an agreement with the other parent or try lower-conflict options, such as mediation. It’s also important to remember that both you and the other parent only have the children’s best interests at heart, and while you may have different opinions on what supports that, it can help to keep that in the back of your mind as you navigate these discussions.