If you’re a parent who’s about to get a divorce or who is recently divorced, you’re going to face a lot of unknowns, this we know for a fact. It doesn’t matter if you’re the father who’s suddenly going to find himself living alone without his kids, or a stay-at-home mother who has to put her young children in daycare so she can go back to work – things are going to change.
Perhaps one of the most painful aspects of divorce is how it affects circumstances involving your children. However, it is possible to navigate the unknown waters of single parenthood and come out the other end intact. It is possible to have a thriving relationship with your children, even though you no longer share the same roof with their mother or father.
Our advice to help ensure success as a single or mother after divorce:
Consider a joint custody arrangement.
These days, California courts encourage joint custody arrangements where both parents share equally in the child raising responsibilities. If your child’s other parent is a loving mother or father, try to work out a joint custody arrangement that you can live with. This way, the children maintain frequent contact with both of you.
Avoid moving far away.
If your children will be living with the other parent more of the time and you’ll be the one paying child support, we suggest staying close to your children’s home. If you move to another county or state, it will make it harder to see your children all the time. The best way to ensure a quality relationship with your kids is to stay physically close to them.
Spend a lot of quality time with your children.
Divorce can be very hard on children, and it’s not uncommon for them to blame themselves for the divorce or act out. During this time of transition, spend a lot of quality time with your children. It will be good for them and it will be good for your soul too.
Learn how to help your kids cope.
If your children are over the age of three, they may have a difficult time coping with the divorce as their family lives are disrupted. If you struggle to deal with their feelings, seek out a therapist or find some books on the subject of children and divorce.
Stay connected when you’re far away.
Some jobs require that parents travel frequently. If you’re on the road a lot or in the military, you have to work harder to stay connected to your kids. We recommend using Skype, FaceTime, Facebook and other tools to speak to your kids face-to-face but via devices. You may not be in person, but these methods are the next best thing.