January is National Child-Centered Divorce Awareness Month
As a practicing divorce professional, we serve many types of families in my divorce financial planning practice. The number one ingredient I see that consistently helps children remain in good emotional health through divorce is kindness. The thoughtfulness and consideration of your child’s wellbeing, to be more specific, can enable you in some incredibly difficult circumstances to extend-the-olive-branch to the other party. To put it another way, could you compromise with your spouse for the good of your child to come up with a plan to work together? Not to compromise your boundaries or to allow your spouse to take advantage of you, but for you to make informed decisions with professional assistance that will allow everyone to benefit…including you. Divorce is not about winning! No one wins in divorce. And, you lose if your goal is to hurt your spouse! However, a true act of kindness to preserve your child’s and your long-term emotional health done in the right way with the right professionals is a “sacrifice” worth making. I use the word “sacrifice” because you are giving up reacting emotionally and changing directions; therefore, it may feel like a sacrifice because you are giving up what you want to do and putting those precious ones before your own needs and emotions. It is easy to react, but taking the higher road and going beyond how you feel in a moment will have lasting implications on all parties involved, especially those most impressionable. Remember, you will always be connected to the other party because of your kids; so twenty years from now, make it less awkward on your older self by sowing an act of kindness now.
How about it? Consider your options in divorce. Does the option you chose or the more traditional options available to you afford conversations about the emotional and financial implications of your decisions during divorce…or are you just getting legal advice? Take a step back and assess where you and your children are. What can you do to make the process more child-centered?