There are no two ways about it – divorce is a hard, trying experience. Even for couples who are desperate to end their relationship, there are plenty of difficulties that get in the way. Sharing property, history, and a host of other legal and physical bonds that must be broken makes for a time that no one wants to revisit. But this is especially true for parents.
Many parents – or most – tend to feel heaps of guilt for putting their children through divorce. Some of them may recall when their parents got divorced when they were younger. Others rack their brains with the countless articles they read on the damaging effects of divorce on a young child. And others still continue to feel responsible that they couldn’t find a way to bring their child up in a home where their biological parents stayed together.
But we can say that despite the trouble, it is possible to have a good, working relationship with your ex even after a divorce. But just like divorce and a marriage, making this work will take, well, work. Here are some ways that you and your ex can do in order to make sure that you’re allowing the children to have the best of both parents, even when separated.
- Have Respect For Your Ex: We’ve talked a lot about the importance respect plays in a relationship. But we’re going to take this further. If as an ex, there was a particular problem that you had, such as anger issues, then having respect for your ex would mean seeking help for that particular problem. Respect of course cuts both ways – and both parties must be willing to make sacrifices. That means continuing to respect that they are committed to changing, but also that there will be conflicts in schedules, and sacrifice may be needed at times.
- Make sure money doesn’t get in the way: Easier said than done right? Especially if money was at the root of your divorce. But money will now largely be handled in courts. Except there is an easier way to track and maintain money matters such as child support – Supportpay. With Supportpay, we make it easy to track, record and schedule payments so that conversations about money (or fights about money) are things of the past. Just remember – money is a tough issue for all couples. Make sure it’s taken care of first, and you’ll have a strong foundation. And for those still going through a divorce, you can use our child support calculator to better understand financial obligations.
- Put the child first – Even parents, as loving and wonderful as they are, can still be selfish at times. It’s human nature. But recognizing that we can be selfish is the first step to making sure we know how to NOT be selfish. And when it comes to being a divorced parent, that means putting the child first. Vacations, holidays, and days off shouldn’t become a time to bicker or decide who’s done more. Always put the child first, and your conversations – and plans – will go more smoothly.
Remember, child support is more than money and more than simply spending fulfilling obligations. Whether you’re in California, Nevada or New York, child support means the same thing everywhere – making sure, as best you can, that a child has both parents in their lives. And remember too that divorce doesn’t have to be a problem. As long as your child feels the love and encouragement they need, you’re doing your best job at being a great parent.