Divorce requires much planning for the present and for life after divorce. If a divorcing couple has young children, they are often clueless in knowing how to plan effectively for the changing needs as they mature. Acquiring a divorce expert to help parents walk through the ages and stages of children as they mature and explore standard customary needs for children and families is beneficial. The problem for many couples is that they may not have experienced school events, extracurricular activities, children residing in two different homes and obstacles that divorce often creates. Couples are unaware as they make divorce decisions today that these same decisions will affect their children as they mature, therefore, insight from a professional to help project the future needs and family dynamics may prove to be invaluable. Having a professional with this expertise may lessen the need for returning to court as much planning for the future is conducted on the outset of divorce. The changing needs of the children/family including the maturation of the children should be anticipated during the initial divorce decree. Does your legal professional know what family and children’s needs are at various stages in the divorce process and future needs as they mature? Is it your goal as well as your professional team to lessen the need of return visits to court? If wise decisions are not made and return visits are needed to make modifications to your original decree, this will be additional psychological and financial expenses to your family.
As decisions are made that will affect your children’s well-being, your divorce team should have the knowledge to inform you of how to make decisions that will accommodate for life changes. Through my years of work in the divorce arena, I have seen couples make decisions for their children contemplating only the present needs without taking into account three, five or ten years down the road. Most of these couples did not have older children and were depending on their divorce team to provide this information, as they did not have the knowledge to ask questions and relied on their professional to educate them.
In addition to the children’s maturation, does your legal team understand your budgetary needs? When divorcing, creating a budget of current expenses and projected living expenses after divorce is very important. As a counselor, one story that I will never forget is a judge asking a divorcing dad why he needed the amount of money that he had listed on his budget for groceries. Dad explained due to the custody arrangement of five children, he had to visit the grocery store quite often. He explained that by the time he purchased fresh bread, milk and boxes of cereal for his custodial visitation, which only lasted for a short time span, the groceries that were left became stale. When the five children returned for visitation again, there was a need for a return visit to the grocery store to buy the same items all over again. Although this judge had the experience of deciding futures for families that would impact their lives forever, he had never been divorced, did not have this number of children and had no idea how budgetary needs for groceries in this type of custody arrangement actually impacted parents and children, yet this divorce professional makes decisions that impact families daily. Not every professional who renders divorce decisions or works with divorcing families understands aspects of divorce unless they have walked in your shoes. Every family is unique and taking time to understand the uniqueness of the family’s needs is a must.
Has your legal team had the experience of co-parenting? What provisions will this team suggest for your family to effectively co-parent now and in the future in order to meet the needs of each family member? Making decisions now that will withstand future parenting assuming that spouses will grow apart and not be as cooperative to work well together is an effective way to create a parenting plan and make co-parenting decisions. When divorcing, there may be minimal issues between parents but as time progresses, a legal team will certainly need to take into considerations future problems that may develop and craft an agreement to encompass these changes. What needs will the children require as the division of the family occur and then living with parents in two separate homes? This knowledge is also dependent upon their divorce team to inform the parents of the changes and how their parenting agreement must be written now in order to accommodate these changes.
Having a divorce team with experience of helping divorce couples is ideal but having a divorce team of professionals that not only has the experience but has walked the divorce walk personally allows this team member to have first-hand knowledge of walking in your shoes. Does your team know understand how your life will be impacted by the custody arrangement that you are proposing and have they educated you about the different aspects? Do any of your children have any special needs and if so, have they been discussed with the team? Do your divorce professionals understand what these needs are and presented informed alternatives for you to explore?
Divorce agreements affect your family forever, having someone who has walked in your shoes personally may help reduce the need to return to court. Divorce Tool Box founder, Audrey Silcox, understands how the needs of a family will change over time and she has personally walked in your divorce shoes. She has experience in the field of psychology to understand family dynamics, certified mediator to understand the need of crafting a divorce agreement by couples working together that will withstand the test of time and a coach to help individuals be prepared with informed decisions before entering the legal arena. You can benefit from her knowledge by utilizing her online session that can be found at www.divorcetoolbox.com.