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. 

How to Handle Living Alone After Divorce

Living alone after divorce

One of your worst nightmares has come true – you’re divorced and single again. On top of that, you’ve never felt more alone. We understand that such a feeling can leave you devastated and overwhelmed, but you need to be stronger than ever before. Perspective is everything, which is why you should see it as a new beginning rather than an ending and a failure. Lift your head up high and step confidently into the next chapter of your life. Check out our tips that will help you enjoy living alone after divorce.

Go back to your hobbies

When was the last time you took a brush and stood in front of your easel? Can you even remember how much time has passed since you read a book or enjoyed some of your other hobbies? If the answer is something along the lines of, I have no idea, it’s time you went back to your origins and start doing everything you used to enjoy. Sometimes being a couple leaves little time for your own passions, so now that you’re single again, you can go back to your hobbies and even consider new ones.

Develop new routines

You’ve probably thought about taking that cooking class for years back, but never had a strong will do to it. Whether because you were too busy being a spouse and a parent or because you thought you’d do it some other time, you allowed for the time to go by, and your desire to learn has eventually subsided. If being alone still doesn’t agree with you, surrounding yourself with people and developing new routines is the best strategy. After finishing a course, consider joining a club. Be it a book club or a divorced women’s society in the neighbourhood, opening up about your problems will be highly beneficial for you.

Redecorate your home for a new start

Leaving the past behind will allow you to look only forward and think about the present. One of the best ways to create a new beginning for you is to redecorate your home. From repainting the walls to changing the carpets, and some furniture, getting rid of all the décor that reminds you of your pre-divorce life will be the best move. Consider transforming the outdoors and add an extra layer of security with protective chain wire fencing that you’ll use to enclose your property. You can never be too safe from burglars, so invest in sturdy fencing solutions that will create a strong barrier against any intruders.

Travel alone for new experiences

You only live once, so you better make it count. Have you ever considered travelling to a new destination on your own? If you used to fear travelling by yourself, there’s no better time than now to face your fears and overcome them. Book a ticket to the place you’ve always wanted to go to and embrace new possibilities. Travelling alone doesn’t have to be scary, as long as you follow some of the basic rules that will keep you safe when touring by yourself.

Accept the fact that you as an individual are enough

This may be the most challenging task of all, but it’s, nevertheless, vital for your emotional recovery and growth. Accepting yourself as a complete individual even when you don’t have a life partner next to you is of the essence. Just because your marriage didn’t work doesn’t mean that you’re destined to be forever alone. Furthermore, living by yourself will be therapeutic and allow you to create a more meaningful relationship with yourself. That is much more important than having a strong connection to your romantic partner. Only after you’ve accepted yourself as being enough will you be able to offer the best of you to another person. Gove yourself more credit and be proud of your strength. Going through a divorce isn’t easy, and you’ve survived getting out of it stronger than ever.

Loving yourself even after your partner has left is vital for your survival. You must learn to be by yourself, to go through this troublesome period. It won’t be easy, but with the tips we’ve listed, you’ll find your way towards healing and new opportunities, much faster.

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.

Divorce After the Betrayal of a Partner: How to Tell Children and What to Do Next

Divorce After the Betrayal of a Partner

While engaged in an emotional affair, the spouse usually retracts emotional closeness from the marriage to give it to someone else. As a matter of fact, for women, rapid emotional distancing is a crucial signal of an emotional affair. The majority of people are unable to express the same amount of romantic passion to different individuals. However, if you ask people about their feelings about the wrongness of emotional cheating, the vast majority will agree that it is very hurtful.

According to one survey, 60 percent of individuals considered emotional affairs to be the same as cheating. Only 18 percent of those who took part in the survey disagreed. In general, people still believe that being faithful to one-person means being true to themselves, both physically and spiritually. This is especially true in the case of marital relationships. 40 percent more likely to be separated or divorced after getting cheated by their partner.

Divorce can be extremely painful even when the relationship is no longer good since it marks the loss of your partnership and the dreams and commitments that you shared with your significant other. Things start on a high note of enthusiasm and anticipation for the future when it comes to romantic relationships. When a relationship does not work out, we are filled with deep sadness, frustration, and despair.

When you have a breakup or divorce, you are thrust into uncharted territory. All of your routines and obligations, your house, your connections with extended family and friends, and even your identity have been thrown off balance by this event. Uncertainty about the future is another side effect of a divorce. What would your life be like if you didn’t have a partner? Will you find another person? Will you be alone? These unknowns may sometimes feel worse than being in an unpleasant relationship, making it difficult to cope.

Recovery after a divorce can be tough and time-consuming due to the pain, disruption, and uncertainty. Keep reminding yourself that you will get through this tough experience and that you will be able to move on with a fresh feeling of hope and optimism. In this guide, we will explain how to tell kids about divorce and not hate the other parent who was cheating.

How to tell kids about the divorce

Once upon a time, two thoughtful parents sat their preschooler down to inform him of their upcoming separation. It was done carefully and softly, but they explained to him that his parents were no longer living together and would now be living in separate places, but that he would still be seeing both of them on a regular basis.

They concluded by emphasizing the most crucial element: that both his mother and father still loved him, and they asked if he had any questions. The four-year-old was deafeningly quiet. “Who’s going to look after me?” he said after that.

It’s a short narrative, told by Joan B. Kelly, a California psychologist, mediator, and author, that gives a glimpse into the disparities in the experiences of adults and children going through a divorce. These parents had done all that was expected of them. They’d sought expert counsel and attempted to provide their kid with the necessary facts without overloading him with too much information. Despite this, they could not communicate this critical point, which may have been obvious to them but was not to him.

Adults see divorce for what it is: a complicated, multi-faceted circumstance. Early on, young infants have a tendency to see the world in concrete and self-centered ways. Understanding where your children are at in their development will help you in assisting them in adjusting to the realities of divorce. Below we have discussed how to tell your teenager you are separating.

The two-year-old and ten-year-old children react differently to the news of their parent’s separation. Here’s a guide on how to explain divorce to a child of any age.

How to tell 0-5 years old kids about divorce:

Babies and toddlers

  • Dependence on parents or caretakers.
  • A lack of capacity to comprehend complicated events.
  • An inability to foresee future scenarios.
  • An inability to understand their own emotions.


  • He or she is starting to gain independence but is still very reliant on others.
  • Limited capacity to comprehend cause and effect relationships, yet unable to anticipate the future.
  • They believe that the world revolves around them and that the boundary between fantasy and reality is occasionally blurred.
  • Possess some capacity to think about sentiments but a very limited ability to express them verbally.

How to explain divorce to a child

When Nicholas Benson and his wife, Lisa, divorced last autumn, their two children, Andrew, six, and Caitlyn, four, were already used to spending most of their time with their father since Mom’s profession required her to be away from home for more than a few days a month. It took Caitlyn time to adjust to Lisa’s decision to leave their home in Milton, Ont., since she had grown up in the house. When the children returned home following their first-weekend stay with their mother, Caitlyn exclaimed, “Mommy home?” despite the fact that they had only just left her house. Caitlyn will need time and many basic explanations before she is able to comprehend what is being said.

What to keep an eye out for: Fear, rage, and emotional instability are common signs of discomfort among preschoolers, and they may manifest themselves in a variety of ways, including clinginess, anxiety, whininess, and overall irritability. Preschoolers may also lag in terms of developmental progress. For example, toddlers who were previously sleeping through the night may start to wake up more often.

According to Rhonda Freeman, manager of Families in Transition, a Toronto’s Family Services Association program, children as young as three and four years old might develop incorrect views about the causes and consequences of divorce because of their poor cognitive abilities. They could think ‘Dad abandoned me’ rather than ‘Dad left Mom’ if their father is the one who leaves the house, according to her. Children must realize that the choice to live apart is an adult one, says the author. The fact that toddlers have difficulties comprehending this.

Priorities for parents separating with kids

Children benefit from consistent care and nurturing because it provides them with a feeling of security and comfort. As a result, tots’ lives must be anchored as much as possible by their typical routines (meals, play, bath, bed) in the presence of a parent who is “there for them.” This is, of course, necessary for all children, but it is particularly crucial for children whose parents have divorced. If things aren’t going well at home, preteens and teenagers may get away by hanging out with their friends, says Joan Kelly. Baby, toddler, and preschoolers are not able to do so.

Preschoolers want straightforward, tangible explanations. Keep it simple: which parent will be leaving, where the kid will live, who will care for him, and how frequently he will see the other parent are the only things that need to be discussed. Prepare yourself for questions; provide concise answers, and then wait to see if there is anything more. Don’t anticipate a single conversation to accomplish the task; instead, prepare for a series of brief conversations.

How to tell 6-11 years old kids about divorce

Children between the ages of 6 and 8

  • A little more capacity to think about and express emotions.
  • A wider, less egocentric vision of what is happening around them, but still a limited comprehension of complex situations such as divorce.
  • A little more ability to think about and express feelings.
  • Increasing the number of relationships outside the household (friends and school).

Children between the ages of 9 and 11

  • At this age, relationships with others outside the family (friends, teachers, coaches) are more established and play a larger role in determining how the kid spends his or her time.
  • He or she has a tendency to view things in black and white and may put the blame for the divorce.

How to explain divorce to a child

Erica Hallman of Toronto remembers her daughter Jessica, who was in kindergarten at the time, struggling to comprehend the reasons for her parents’ divorce. She once asked me, ‘Why are you fighting?’  What is the reason for this? Has he removed anything from your computer? This was a simple miscommunication that was easily resolved. The divorce was triggered by Dad accidentally deleting something from Mom’s computer, and they exchanged furious words as a result. However, this was not the reason for the divorce.

What to keep an eye out for: The distress of school-aged children may manifest itself in the form of fear, worry, anger, or grief, with others displaying more obvious indications of missing their absent parent. This is the worst age for divorce for children.

According to Freeman, children who believe that they may be able to get their parents back together feel that they are responsible for the divorce. Because of this, children must realize that those are adult choices that they did not create and are unable to influence. There are many books available about divorce that can also help kids focus on their feelings. Those books may not be available in your region or price higher in your state, so you can use VPN for iOS to download that book. You can try VeePN’s VPN app for iPhone to get useful information and get care about your kid.

How to tell 12-14 years old kids about divorce

  • Increased ability to comprehend issues pertaining to divorce; ability to participate in conversations and ask questions to understand better.
  • Initiating feelings to desire more independence.
  • The importance of relationships outside of the family is growing.

How to explain divorce to a child

When Eve Mirowski’s children were 10 and 12 years old, she was going through a divorce from her alcoholic husband. The situation had become so terrible that the judge ordered both parents not to speak about the court proceedings for a period of time after that. It’s hard to protect children from this sort of conflict completely, but Mirowski did all she could to protect them. “I simply wanted to make our house a secure haven for our family.

Mealtimes were set at regular mealtime and bedtime, and my husband was never allowed to enter the home. The evening before I left the boys to go out, I grabbed my cell phone and told them they could contact me whenever they wanted.” And they did call on a regular basis. She recalls how her oldest son, Joe, starts getting headaches and trouble sleeping after a period of time. “I was concerned that, given my stress, I wouldn’t be able to provide him with the necessary coping skills on my own, so I asked for help.” Joe started attending a therapist, who was able to provide him with help.

What to keep an eye out for: Irritability and anger are prevalent, directed towards either parent or at the parent who has moved out. It might be difficult to determine how much of a young teen’s irritation is caused by the parent’s divorce. According to Freeman, “Think about separating with kids and how their behavior or moods have changed.”

Priorities for parents separating with kids

Keeping lines of communication open reduces the chances that emotional problems may slip through the gaps. Getting through to children in this age group may be difficult, and they may even behave as if they do not want to be reached. However, the majority of teenagers and preteens still need and want contact with their parents. “I’ve heard from a lot of children over the years who said they were testing their parents to see whether they actually cared,” said Freeman.

What to do next?

After divorce, parenting will be a difficult task. So, you have to consider these practices for a better future for your children.

Communication channels must be open all the time

Take your children out to dinner once a week without your new spouse. If they refuse to engage in conversation with you, do not force the issue.  Your children will know that you are not willing to give up since your connection with them is priceless as a result of your actions. During the week, write letters or send SMS to your children to maintain a line of contact between you and them. Your continued presence and interest in them demonstrate that you are committed to developing a connection with them.

Good Parenting

It isn’t easy to maintain good parenting practices when you are mourning the loss of a relationship and focused on lawyers and court dates. Make every effort to keep adult difficulties distinct from your interactions with your children, and seek outside assistance, such as counseling, if you need it.

Don’t take your children’s rage or cruel actions personally

It’s possible that your children are terrified of losing you as a parent. Anger often serves to conceal feelings of fear. If your kid is old enough to refuse to counsel, you should attend the session by yourself to learn how to cope with the problem in a positive manner. Allow yourself to be the catalyst for good changes in your relationship.

How to Remain Professional at Work while Going through a Divorce

Going through divorce

If you’re going through a divorce right now, you know how stressful it is. It awakens the feelings of loneliness, disappointment, depression and anger, and when you’re pumped up with emotions like that, it’s hard to stay professional and handle all your work tasks. So how can you finalize and mourn your divorce while also fulfilling all your work duties? It’s hard but possible, especially if you follow these tips below:

Talk to your boss

You might not want to share your personal life with colleagues, but since your productivity will almost certainly suffer a bit due to divorce, it’s important to talk to your boss. Your boss might be able to help you through this time—many people are surprised how understanding managers and CEOs can be. Be open in your discussion and you’ll build more trust with the corporate and know that you can always count on the support of your superiors.

Turn off your phone

You don’t have to be available to your ex or their lawyers 24/7. Unless there’s an emergency with the kids or house, it’s a good idea to block the calls until you finish work. And that includes texts and emails as well. Once you step into your office, you need to commit the next 6-8 hours to your job and leave your private life for later. Texts and phone calls from the ex, friends and family can completely ruin your day and occupy every part of your brain. While you’re at work, you need to focus on it and not let unexpected arguments steal your motivation and productivity.

Make a good schedule

Make a good schedule

Divorce often makes people feel very defeated and lonely. You have to fight the tendency to give up and isolate yourself. A good way to handle your personal crisis and keep productivity high is by making a clear schedule of your days so you can check off tasks as they come.  Make a list of a few things that need to be finished such as picking up kids, buying groceries, calling business partners, preparing a presentation for tomorrow, and making sure you can tick them off (finishing tasks and ticking them off can be very fulfilling.) Also, don’t forget to schedule some you-time so you can let out some steam. Oftentimes, a short 20-minute workout or even a 10-minute walk can feel refreshing for your brain and give you clarity.

Take good care of your health

It’s easy to neglect your health during this hard time but make sure to follow a good diet and stay hydrated. If you eat three meals a day, expect to be energized and healthy and have a stable mood (the latter is something you desperately need right now). It’s understandable that you’re not leading the healthiest life right now, especially if your ex used to cook every day or you two had a habit of meeting for lunch, but if you get sick, it will be even harder to handle your divorce. When you need some extra help with hydration, it’s a good idea to reach for nootropic smart drinks which use Ginko, GABA, Huperzine-A and other substances to boost productivity and focus and ensure more restful sleep—just what you need right now. Plus, they provide proper hydration.

Find a safe space

Every time you feel overwhelmed at work, make sure to take a break. Identify your safe space and visit it whenever you need to rest. People can recharge their batteries by going for a short walk, getting a cup of coffee or listening to some music in your car. Some people choose to take on more work to provide them with a distraction, but burying yourself in your work is not a great way to cope.

Reorganize your desk

There are many things that remind you of your soon-to-be-ex partner at home, but at work as well. You probably keep a few things at your desk that remind you of them—holiday photos, small souvenirs that you bought together, fun memories, etc. The way you organize your things might even remind you of the routines you had during your past life. To make things easier for yourself, it’s smart to reorganize your desk and make a new setting. A change of scenery will remove painful memories and even boost your productivity.

Prepare an answer to everyone’s questions

Unless you’re completely new to your workplace, your coworkers will most likely see that you’re off your game. Expect a few questions, so have an answer ready if you don’t want to get into it. “I’m going through something at home. Thank you for your concern, I’ll be fine soon”. It’s nice to know people care, but you don’t have to discuss your personal life with anyone.

Oftentimes, a divorce can positively affect your career, but not at the beginning. While you’re going through the roughest patch, it’s important to stay focused, calm and professional, so your career can bloom once everything starts returning to normal.

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.

Divorcing From An Abusive Spouse: What You Need To Know

Divorcing From An Abusive Spouse

Every year, domestic violence wreaks havoc on the lives of an estimated four million people – the vast majority of whom are women, but men also make up a significant percentage of that statistic. In addition to this, it’s important to point out that domestic abuse also has a substantial ripple effect on entire families and friendship groups, causing distress and trauma to those close to the abuse.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being a victim of domestic abuse, you may be considering a divorce from your partner. After all, domestic violence can affect mental health and physical health, as well as cause significant harm and even death in extreme situations. With that said, here is a quick run-through of everything you need to know about divorcing an abusive spouse.

What Are the Types of Abuse In a Marriage?

First and foremost, it is critical to understand the various forms of marital abuse. Unfortunately, many individuals believe that physical violence is the only way their spouse may harm them, but this is simply not true. The following are some of the most prevalent kinds of abuse in abusive relationships:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional and verbal abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Digital abuse
  • Stalking

How Spousal Abuse Might Affect the Type of Divorce You Choose?

Typically, there are two types of divorce that you need to be aware of; these are no-fault and fault-based. Divorcing spouses under certain state laws have the choice of seeking a fault-based divorce, but in others, all divorces are classed as no-fault. It all depends on the laws within your area.

No-Fault Divorce

The filing spouse in a no-fault divorce is seeking a divorce based on one of the state’s no-fault legal grounds. In most states, these legal grounds are usually separation, irreconcilable differences, irreversible breakdown, and incompatibility. To have a claim for a no-fault divorce accepted by the court, the filing spouse does not have to allege that there has been any marital abuse. Instead, the spouse must simply inform the court that the marriage has ended and that there is nothing that can be done to save it through things such as counseling, etc. After this, the court will grant the divorce if both spouses fulfill the state’s other divorce standards.

Fault-Based Divorce

A fault-based divorce, on the other hand, requires the filing spouse to launch allegations that there are more specific legally recognized grounds for the divorce. Adultery, abuse, criminal convictions, and substance addiction are just a few of the common reasons for fault-based divorces. As for domestic abuse, you can claim in your divorce papers that your marriage ended because of your spouse’s abuse, giving details where necessary.

How Spousal Abuse Affects Financial Outcomes After a Divorce

Of course, it goes without saying that the financial aspect of a divorce is one of the most significant. In many cases, this can be the primary factor that causes abused spouses to remain in the marriage without seeking a divorce, as they are fearful they will be cut off and left without any assets, possessions, or cash.

To be frank, it’s impossible to offer a blanket response about how funds will be handled after a divorce because each case is unique. With that stated, marital abuse can have an impact on property distribution, especially if the spouse who has been abused can prove that it has resulted in financial losses or a reduction in their capacity to generate income. Domestic violence victims with additional financial concerns tend to be treated more leniently by the courts, sometimes offering alimony to those who need financial support.

How Spousal Abuse Affects Child Custody After a Divorce

If you have children, you may be anxious about how the courts will handle custody. In every state, the court will examine what will be the best outcome for the child. If you can show that you have been the victim of domestic abuse, the courts may place restrictions on your abusive spouse’s custody rights, such as restricting overnight visits. In severe situations, a court may terminate their right to visitation and give you complete custody, but this, too, is contingent on the facts of your case.

Above all, the most crucial consideration is your safety. If you believe you are a victim of domestic violence, get help right away so you can protect yourself and your children. Once you are safe, then you can start to consider moving through with the divorce.

How is Child Support Calculated?

Child support

It is the responsibility of both parents to financially support their children. When one parent has physical custody after a divorce, the other parent makes a child support payment to fulfill his or her role as non-custodial parent.

Furthermore, marriage has no bearing on the need to support a child. Any parent, whether married or not, is accountable for his or her child’s financial well-being.

That being said, it would be better and more financially sound for separated couples to settle child custody issues and financial support agreements through a child custody attorney than bring the case to court.

The Impact of Custody Decision on Child Support

The courts rarely intervene in how parents decide to raise or support their children, unless there is neglect or abuse involved.

When a couple gets divorced, one parent is usually granted custody while the other is expected to provide financial support. In the event of a custody dispute or should the custodial parent seek financial assistance, the court may step in and issue orders on what the both parties must do to maintain the well-being of their children.

In most cases, mothers get custody of the children and fathers are usually the ones who pay child support and alimony to fulfill their responsibility as non-custodial parents. However, when they are granted joint custody, the court determines the amount of child support each parent must pay based on the law.

Factors Affecting the Amount of Child Support

Federal law requires each state in the United States to develop criteria for determining and calculating child support. Though the guidelines can vary greatly from state to state, they often rely on the same considerations used for deciding spousal support and child custody, such as:

  • The parents’ individual incomes
  • The amount of time the child spends with each parent
  • The number of children and their ages

The court will also take into account variables like the family’s standard of living before the divorce, the special needs of the child, the resources of the custodial parent, and the non-custodial parent’s ability to pay.

In situations where a child has extraordinary needs, the court may deviate from the standard child support guidelines and decide for the best interest of the child.

How to Calculate Child Support

How much you pay as the non-custodial parent (or how much you receive as the custodial parent) is determined by the formula that your state uses to determine the amount of child support payments.

Again, child support laws differ by state. Each state government employs one of three fundamental models/methods to calculate child support, which are as follows:

1. The Income Shares Model

Most states use the Income Shares Model. In this method, the court considers the combined parental income and the number of minor children to determine what share of their parents’ income the kids would have received if they lived together. This model is founded on the idea that both parents’ incomes were spent to benefit all the members of the household prior to the divorce.

For example; the court determines that the children require $2,000/month and the parents earn a combined annual income of $200,000. If the father earns $120,000/year and the mother makes $40,000/year, the court may order the father to pay $1,200/month and the mother to pay $800/month for child support.

2. The Percentage of Income Model

In states that use the Income Percentage Model, the court calculates child support payments based on a set percentage of the non-custodial parent’s gross or net income and the number of children he/she supports.

The percentage of income can be either flat or varying. In the flat percentage model, fluctuations in the income of the non-custodial parent does not change the percentage of income paid towards child support. The varying percentage model is the opposite. The percentage of income changes as the non-custodial parent’s income changes.

Alaska, Mississippi, Nevada, and Wisconsin use the Flat Percentage Model, while North Dakota and Texas employ the Varying Percentage Model.

3. The Melson Formula

States that use the Melson formula calculate child support payment based on a specific set of parameters known as the “Melson Factors.” Some of the considerations included in this model are the income of both parents, the needs of the child, the standard of living adjustment for the child or SOLA.

The Melson Formula is a variant of the Income Shares Model. Their biggest difference is that the Melson Formula allows for additional child support payment as the income of one of both parents increases.

Delaware, Hawaii, and Montana use the Melson Formula to calculate child support.

How Long Must Parents Pay Child Support

A parent is required to pay child support until the child reaches 18 years of age. However, if the child lives at home and is financially reliant on his or her parents, child support payments may have to continue even after they turn 18.

Parents with 18-year-olds still enrolled in school, for example, may have to support their children until the age of 23. Moreover, a parent with a severely disabled child can be ordered by the court to pay child support for the rest of his or her life.

What Can Happen If A Parent Fails to Pay Child Support

Failure to pay child support can result in serious consequences. Asset seizure and wage garnishment may be imposed on a non-paying parent. And because child support is a court order, a parent who fails to pay it may be held in contempt of court, face jail time, and/or lose his or her driver’s license.

Even a parent who’s unable to work is not excused from paying child support. Missed payments will be accumulated as arrears even if a parent is in jail or the hospital, and these arrears must be paid back when he or she can work again.

Parents who fall behind on child support payments can petition a judge to reduce future child support payments, but this will have no effect on past due child support. Child support is owed until it is paid in full and is not dischargeable even through bankruptcy.

About the Author:

Andrea Williams is the Community Manager at The Law Offices of Alcock & Associates P.C., a premier law group in Arizona that provides legal services to clients involved in Personal Injury, DUI, Immigration and Criminal cases. She enjoys cooking, reading books and playing minigolf with her friends and family in her spare time.

Life after Divorce: Tips for Moving into Your New Home

Life after divorce

Moving houses is never easy, especially if it happens after a divorce. While you’re still dealing with the pain of the breakup, it’s hard to focus on the move. And once you look at your new place, it can be hard to imagine it as your new home. However, there are ways you can make this unpleasant process easier on yourself and your kids if they are in the mix. If you focus on a few simple tasks, you can turn your empty house into a peaceful and loving home for your new family.

Purge your possessions

You don’t have to keep all the things you’ve got in the divorce. In order to make this new place your home, you will need to purge and declutter. For instance, you can ditch the wedding albums, leave that ugly couch you’ve always hated on the curb and sell your marital bed on the internet. The objects we own carry strong emotional associations with them, so you might want to start fresh with a few important items. While you need to be practical with new purchases, some items need to go. If you need a coffee table, but you own the one you and your ex bought on your honeymoon to Bali, it will need to be replaced.

Be fast and decisive

No matter if this house is yours forever or just a temporary rental, you can’t live out of boxes and feel at home. You shouldn’t be scared to spend money and time to quickly unpack and get your place functional and comfortable. Throw on a fresh coat of paint, buy a new washing machine and set up your internet and cable—these will make your life easier and nicer. Also, taking action when it comes to your new place will give you a purpose and get rid of any insecurity in your life.

Prioritize safety

Every time you move into a new place, you need to check if it’s safe and secure for you and your kids. Inspect the house and remove any hazards that can cause trips, slips and bumps, and provide baby gates on stairs. Also, make sure all your locks are new and you have at least some semblance of a security system in place (camera doorbell or alarm system)—this is especially important in case your divorce was ugly and there’s some bad blood between you and your ex. And make sure your new place is insured.  Only move in after you set up your home and contents insurance that will offer coverage for storms, fire, earthquake, flood, escaping water, as well as explosions, riots and theft. Get insurance quotes early, so you can move into a fully insured house that is safe for you and your loved ones.

Let kids set up their bedrooms

If you have kids, you’re probably worried about how they will handle the divorce, but if you quickly provide them with stability, they will adapt to change. They also need to have a little bit of independence, since there are so many things that are out of their control. Giving them ownership of their rooms can be very beneficial. Let them choose the furniture, color, window treatment and give them the responsibility of keeping their bedrooms clean and tidy.

Decorate according to your tastes

You probably have a bunch of mementos of your old life before marriage tucked away somewhere. Well, this is the perfect time for them to come out and serve as decoration in your new house. Place them somewhere visible so they can cheer you up quickly and easily. Decorating is also a perfect opportunity to create some new memories with your kids. When you catch a free afternoon, you can start a project and work on it together to beautify your new house.

You can also surround yourself with pictures of your loved ones. You might not want to completely forget about your married life, but it’s important to document the state of your family today. Fill the space with photos of you and your kids, friends and family members—this will remind you what you accomplished and encourage you to continue making amazing memories.

Don’t neglect nature

No matter where you live, in the city or suburbs, three things can instantly lift your mood: fresh air, greenery and animals. If you can’t get a pet, you can always go to a shelter and give some love to those in need. In general, contact with nature boosts mood, lowers stress and blood pressure and raises serotonin levels. If you have the space, set up a little garden to serve as your haven. Tending to a garden after a divorce can be a very healing experience.

Every divorce is different and everyone takes it differently, but one is for sure—in your new house, you will find peace and happiness. And if you follow our tips, your new house will turn into a home in a blink of an eye.