AZ Asks: Miz P – What are some tips to make your post-divorce life run smoothly?

 

Miz P’s biography—aka Carole Perkins : A Greensboro native, Carole is a graduate of Guilford College who was named a Who’s Who Among College Students with a double major in Psychology and The Administration of Justice. Carole has worked a gamut of jobs from waiting tables at the now defunct Tippy Taco House, as Vice-President of her family’s furniture business, and as a Sales Accountant at the local paper.  At heart, Carole is a writer whose stories have been published in Our State Magazine, O’Henry Magazine, and Go Triad to name a few. Carole is a music enthusiast whose taste ranges from Adele to The Avett Brothers and a devoted mother to three daughters and two step-sons.

Flexibility is the key!

How do you handle Child Custody Arrangements during the Holidays in a positive manner?

It has been my experience that it is better to try and avoid a judge ordered plan for the holidays. If at all possible, work out a schedule that fits everyone’s needs. For an example, when my stepsons were very young they lived out of state. The court had determined we would have the boys every year from December 26th until they returned to school in January. Unfortunately, our younger son’s birthday was December 26 which meant he’d be on a plane most of the day which did not seem fair to him. To make it work comfortably for everyone, we flew the boys down on December 27th and celebrated then and everyone was happy.

Try to work out a fair arrangement to share your children during the holidays. Be flexible and think outside of the box as how you can make it work comfortably for the kids.  If they are old enough, let them help with the decision. For example, the kids could have Thanksgiving lunch with their Dad and dinner with their Mom. The most important thing I have learned through the years is that the time you spend together doesn’t HAVE to be on the actual day of the holiday or birthday. Thanksgiving can be just as much fun on a Wednesday or Friday as well as Thursday–it is all in how you approach it.

What are some suggestions when communicating with your children about the divorce?

The most positive way to talk to your children about divorce is for the parents to join together as a team and work through it together. By working together, you can reassure your children that you both love them and always will. This can be difficult if there has been a history of arguing and a lack of willingness to work together in the past. Right now, you both will have to work hard at putting your differences aside and focusing in on the well-being of the children.

With very young children, a simple approach is the best one. Give them only the details that they need to reassure them that they are still loved. Take them to see where the other parent will live and where they will be spending some of their time so they can get comfortable. Depending on their maturity level, more information can be shared with older children if you feel it is necessary. College age students deserve the same time, attention and acknowledgement of their own grief and loss.

There is never a good time to hear the news that your parents are getting a divorce, but make sure you think about where and when you will be sharing this life-changing news. If at all possible, try to avoid telling them during special occasions and holidays so they won’t associate these times with sad news. No matter how you decide to handle sharing this news, make sure your children hear it from both of you first not someone on the outside.

Carole Perkins is not affiliated with, nor endorsed by, LPL Financial or Compass Financial Partners.

AZ ASKS

 

About Ann Zuraw

Ann Zuraw, the voice behind "Chicks, Chat and Change", is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA™). If you have comments on this post contact Ann Zuraw

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