When you have children, it can be difficult to decide how you want to split your time with them after a divorce. In an ideal world, you and your children would see each other every day and be a regular part of each other’s lives. As a parent who needs to share custody, you know that’s not possible.

One of the parts of your parenting plan and custody schedule that you should address early on is how you will split up the holidays. It’s easier to do than you may think. Here are some helpful tips.

  1. Discuss your favorite holidays with your ex-spouse

To start with, you and your ex-spouse should talk about the holidays that are or are not important to you. For example, you may want to have your children on Father’s Day or to have them on Christmas Eve. Both of you should sit down and write out the holidays you’d like to share with your kids. Whatever doesn’t overlap can be set into your plan as your custody day or a custody day for the other parent.

  1. Alternate overlapping holidays

Once you know which holidays overlap, consider alternating them. Decide who will have those holidays this year and who will have them next year. You might also go with a basic plan where you take any holidays that fall on your normal custody days.

  1. Consider discussing your holiday choices each year

If neither of you has specific preferences, or if you can’t agree at all, one final option is to alternate choosing the holidays you want. For example, you may state that you want to have Halloween this year, and the other parent may then choose a holiday that they’d like to celebrate with your children. Go back and forth until the schedule is made, and then consider revisiting the schedule next year.

These are a few options for you as you start to put together a holiday parenting plan. Decide how to split your time before the holidays approach, so you are prepared for any changes to your normal schedule in advance.

A surprising number of people think that prenuptial agreements are only for people who are incredibly wealthy or famous. There is little question that for decades only certain populations commonly made use of prenuptial agreements, but that has changed in recent years.

People of all backgrounds and incomes have started to recognize the value that comes from a prenuptial agreement. You don’t have to have millions of dollars in assets or an internationally renowned career for an agreement to make sense for your relationship. Who will likely benefit from a prenuptial agreement?

Those with a previous marriage that already ended

Second and subsequent marriages are more likely than first marriages to end in divorce. Second marriages also tend to occur later in life when people have accrued more personal property. Those remarrying after a divorce may find that a prenuptial agreement makes it easier to commit to their new relationship with fewer concerns about what happens if it ends.

Those who own substantial property, like a business or a house

If you already have major assets in your name, you don’t likely want to have to split their value in a divorce. Even if you own them outright before marriage, things that happened during your marriage could constitute commingling and give your spouse a partial claim to those assets.

A prenuptial agreement can designate the property as your separate possession, even if your spouse helps you financially maintain the asset or physically work to repair it.

Those who don’t want to endure an embarrassing litigated divorce

It’s easy to say that you would have a dignified divorce when you think about it during the happiest parts of your relationship. You and your spouse might claim that you will treat one another with dignity and decency during divorce proceedings.

Unfortunately, you may forget those good intentions when divorce overwhelms you. Creating a prenuptial agreement now, while your marriage is still in a good place, helps ensure that your divorce won’t become a messy fight.

There are plenty of other reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement. Those with specific expectations for their spouse, a desire to have children or an agreement to stay home and raise any children a couple may have in the future could benefit from a marital agreement as well.

Recognizing that a prenuptial agreement could protect you and your spouse might help you see the value of negotiating with each other before you get married.

Before people get married or have children, they often ask others who have already done so what they think about their divorce in retrospect. Are they happy they got married? Are they glad they started a family? These are major life choices, and people really want to think about them before moving forward. 

Divorce can be the same way. Generally, divorce means the relationship is over forever. You’re choosing a path that will impact the rest of your life. What do couples that have already done it think about their decisions to divorce? 

A few observations from divorced couples

Obviously, everyone is going to have their own answer to that question, but here are a few ways that couples have described their feelings about divorce:

Again, every case is unique, but you can see that there are many positive sides to divorce. If you decide to split up, you need to understand your legal options. Speaking with an attorney is sometimes the best way to gain clarity about your situation and what you need to do.

While many challenges come with a couple going their separate ways, there’s unlikely nothing that compares to the ones you may face as you attempt to co-parent with your ex.

There’s an extra layer of complexity associated with raising a special needs child. Keeping that in mind as you work out the best way you and your ex can share custody of your special needs child. 

Details to keep in mind when sharing custody of a special needs child

Kids with special needs must generally follow a routine and thus need more structure in their lives. They may also require more hands-on care or have particular nutritional or medication administration needs than an average child. 

It’s not uncommon for at least one parent to quit their job to become their special needs child’s full-time caregiver. All these factors will impact any custody arrangement and support agreement that you and your ex make and often gives way to one parent retaining sole physical custody of the child.

Your special needs child’s attendance at school or doctors’ visits may also impact the custodial arrangements you and your ex make. Having a set custodial schedule the requires frequent exchanges with your ex may not be ideal if your child might miss doctors’ appointments. Similarly, standard custodial arrangements may not work for your special needs child if they rely on specialized transportation to get to a doctor’s office or school. 

Special needs children often rely on specialized medical equipment to maintain their health. It may be too costly to purchase duplicates of every item they need or too bulky to easily transport from one parent’s home to the next, making regular trade-offs impossible.

All of these issues have to be factored into your parenting plan, while still remembering the importance of preserving the parental relationship on both sides.

Coming up with a parenting plan that works for your family

Your role as a parent doesn’t generally end when your child turns 18, and that’s even more true when you have a special needs child here in Georgia. An attorney in Macon can help you negotiate a parenting plan with your ex that’s in the best interest of your special needs child. 

Divorcing? If you are, then you are probably interested in knowing more about the strategies that could help you get the most out of it. The truth is that there are plenty of strategies out there, but the only one that works for you is one that is designed for you.

With any strategy, start by being prepared. If you’re the one proposing divorce, you should prepare in advance by collecting details about your marital assets or collecting information for any claims you want to make. Here are three other things that you can do to create a divorce strategy that is unique to you and one that works for your situation.

  1. Eliminate frustration as soon as you can

It is normal to be frustrated with your spouse as you go through divorce, but don’t let that ruin your opportunities during your divorce. Don’t respond to anger or frustration in-kind, because doing so only stops the conversation, makes your divorce take longer and leads to hurt feelings. Be reasonable and respectful to get the most out of your discussions.

  1. Ask for what you want

You will likely not get what you want unless you make it clear what you’re looking for. Don’t hint at what you think you should receive or assume that your spouse will automatically give you half of everything. Instead, state clearly what you want to see happen to settle your divorce. That way, there is a starting point for negotiations.

  1. Be prepared to negotiate

You do need to know what you need versus what you want when you’re divorcing. It’s reasonable to ask for what you want, but there should always be room to negotiate.

If your spouse does want to negotiate, hear them out. Even if you don’t like what they’re offering, you have the opportunity to create a counteroffer that may help you settle your divorce.

These are three things you can do to have a winning divorce strategy during your divorce. Remember, your goals can be met if you prepare, are reasonable and know what you want. Your attorney can help with your negotiations and keep you on track to finalize your divorce in a reasonable amount of time.

Is it really time to ask for a divorce? This is a question people often find themselves asking with no clear answer. They don’t want to end their marriage as an overreaction to one event, but they also don’t want to stick around for years in a broken marriage and wind up regretting it.

How difficult it is to decide whether to divorce depends on a variety of factors. First and foremost is the issue that made you start thinking about it. If you caught your spouse having an affair, for instance, it may feel very clear instantly that you want to end the marriage. If you’re just frustrated that your spouse works too much and you’re drifting apart, though, it’s much harder to know what to do.

Do you want to stay married?

Clearly, this is a decision only you can make for yourself. One thing to think about as you do, though, is just how much of an effort both of you are putting in. Experts note that one of the clearest warning signs of divorce is when you and/or your spouse no longer want to put any effort in to the marriage. It means that you’ve mentally and emotionally moved beyond the relationship.

Are things ever going to change? If you’re unhappy and both of you aren’t committed to trying to change it, that could mean you only have one choice left.

When you do decide that it’s time to split up, make sure that you know what you want to take away from the marriage. An experienced family law attorney can help you work toward the settlement you’re looking for.

Typically, when parents with children divorce, the focus is on helping younger children and teens adjust to the new parenting and relationship dynamics that will emerge from the split. 

But make no mistake, no matter how old the “children” are when their parents divorce, they will experience unfortunate repercussions due to the loss of the stability of this primary relationship in their lives.

Prepare your adult children for the divorce

No child, no matter their age, deserves to be blindsided by their parents’ divorce. You might rationalize that they must have seen in coming. But in reality, your adult children could have become desensitized to parental unhappiness or figured that was just how mom and dad handled their relationship.

Others may have been too far removed from the home fires due to career duties and their own relationships to realize that their parents’ marriage was on the ropes. Regardless, before filing the papers, this subject needs to be broached with them.

Try to tell them together, in person

This might not always be possible if your adult children live out of state or for other reasons, but when possible, make this effort with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. That can eliminate the need for one parent to assume the role of “bad guy” in the divorce and have the kids feel pressure to take sides.

Understand this makes your adult children vulnerable

For many adult children of divorcing parents, the divorce causes them to question everything about their childhoods and their ties with their family. They may wonder if this is a harbinger of a fracture in their own marital relationships in the future. They may think that the only reason that their parents stayed married all those years was to rear the kids.

Ask your primary care provider or even your Macon family law attorney for recommendations for a family counselor if any of the parties is having a hard time adjusting to the divorce.

There’s been a reduction in divorce rates in the United States in recent years spurred on by the fact that the younger generations are waiting longer to marry in the first place. Other generations are still ending their marriages in record numbers, though.

Many of them are only beginning to learn how divorce can impact their finances

What you should do if you see that divorce is imminent

Most spouses’ decisions to split up aren’t spontaneous. Spouses who reflect on the end of their marriage often say that they could feel their relationship coming apart at the seams. If that’s where you’re at in your marriage, then you might want to go ahead and meet with both a financial planner and divorce attorney to gain a better understanding of your future. 

A divorce attorney can guide you in compiling the financial records necessary to grasp your debt obligations and assets. This information may give both you and your attorney a valuable opportunity to carefully craft and carry out property division demands down the road when you do file for divorce. 

Getting a financial planner involved when you’re agitating toward divorce can allow you to learn strategies for growing your income and increasing your savings. This knowledge can prove invaluable as you transition from you and your spouse carrying the bills and saving for the future to you having to go at it all alone. 

One of these professionals may recommend reassessing your budget, including curbing your discretionary spending on entertainment, clothes and other non-essential items for a period. They may also counsel you about the benefits of furthering your education to get a better job, taking out disability insurance or downsizing to a smaller home. 

Why you should act now

If you keep moving like you don’t see the divorce coming, you give your spouses time to hide or sell off assets. You also give yourself less time to develop the skills to live an independent life. 

When it’s time to seek a divorce, understanding your financial rights can be difficult. An experienced Macon divorce attorney can help.

Those who are considering divorce often struggle to make that final decision. They just don’t know if they should file for divorce, try to fix the relationship or wait and see what the future holds. It can become paralyzing.

In an effort to get to a solution, they’ll often talk to friends and family members about it. This can be helpful, as confusion over how to proceed is normal. Having people you love that you can talk to goes a long way. That support system is valuable. But they cannot make the decision to divorce for you.

Why do you want a divorce?

The biggest thing to start with is just asking yourself why you want a divorce. Are you unhappy? Did you perhaps hope for more in your marriage? Do you feel like you made a mistake, such as marrying the wrong person or getting married too young?

Maybe you have a more dire situation to consider. Perhaps your spouse struggles with addiction. As a result, your family never has enough money to go around, your spouse can’t keep a job and you worry that they may start abusing you and the kids.

Once you’ve identified exactly why you want to leave — writing it down may make it feel more real — it’s often easier to make your decision. In a case of abuse, for instance, you’ll realize that you should never stay in a harmful relationship.

Getting started

Regardless of your reasons, once you make that final decision and you want to get started, be sure you’re well aware of your legal options.

Shared custody is far more common than sole custody, meaning that most divorced parents have to learn how to co-parent. This can certainly be a challenge, but doing a good job of it is absolutely in your children’s best interests. To help, here are a few things you should know.

Communication matters

One of the keys to doing this well is to have open communication with your ex. You can discuss schedules, grades, the children’s physical and mental health, and much more. You need to be able to talk to each other about the kids, no matter how you feel about each other personally.

Time isn’t always divided equally

Co-parenting and sharing custody does not mean you both get custody 50% of the time. You may have more or less time with the kids than your ex. Additionally, you need to consider your legal custody rights, which include making decisions for the children and may be given out independently from physical custody rights.

It is best to have consistent rules

You are going to have things that you disagree on, but you want to provide consistency whenever possible. If one parent is going to ensure that the children always do their homework, for instance, the other parent needs to do the same.

It can be challenging

You are going to face a lot of challenges. What should you do if you don’t agree on the rules around the house? Who gets to be with the children on Christmas morning or on their birthday? Is it best for you to communicate by phone, text or email? These are all important questions you’re going to ask, and they all bring their own challenges.

This shouldn’t stop you from being an excellent parent, however. You just need to accept these challenges, confront them head-on and understand what legal options you have.

For your free consultation connect with one of our legal team today Call 478-621-4980
chevron-down
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram