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Co-parenting tips to help you and your children after divorce

Life after divorce is sure to throw many challenges your way. As you navigate the murky post-divorce waters, it's critical to do your part in keeping your children on the right track.

These five co-parenting tips can help you and your children adjust after divorce:

  • Put them first: For the meantime, your children should come first in everything you do. They're going through a challenging time in their life, so they require plenty of attention. Neglecting to provide this attention could cause issues for them now and in the future.
  • Let your ex parent, too: This is what co-parenting is all about. If you keep your ex on the outside looking in, it will only result in additional trouble in the future. If you want what's best for your children, you'll stick to your parenting plan and work with your ex to provide a stable environment in which your children can flourish.
  • Maintain flexibility: Children suffer when parents argue about visitation schedules. Avoid this by keeping an open mind in regard to flexibility. For example, if your ex asks to alter the days they visit their children this month, see if you can accommodate the request.
  • Stay in touch: This doesn't mean you have to communicate with your ex every day, but you should have a system in place that works for the two of you. Regular, clear communication allows you and your ex to better co-parent, which benefits your children.
  • Don't compete: When you compete with your ex, you're only adding tension to an already volatile situation. Be mindful of your side of the street, so to speak. You have no control over your ex, so focus your energy on making the best life possible for you and your children. Competing with your ex is a game you can't win.

Washington receives 'C' in shared parenting report card

Divorcing couples with children often find it difficult to agree when it comes to the care and well-being of the children post-divorce. We've all heard the stories of parents arguing over which parent is best suited to meet a child's needs and how much time a child should spend with each parent. Even when a child custody agreement is reached, in or out of court, there can still be a lot of tension between the parents, which in turn affects the children.

Because of this tension, many states have implemented statutes that encourage shared parenting, where both parents are equally involved in the child's life post-divorce. The National Parents Organization recently released its 2019 report card, evaluating every state's shared-parenting statute based on a list of 21 factors. While many states have yet to reform their statutes to encourage equal shared parenting, the NPO found that there has been a lot of improvement since its initial report five years ago.

The benefits of a prenuptial agreement

Before you tie the knot, you and your spouse may consider signing a prenuptial agreement. While no one likes to think about the end of a marriage before it begins, a prenup can protect you and your spouse if the unthinkable happens.

A prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract, where soon-to-be spouses agree on how to split their debts and assets if the marriage ever ends. A prenup can protect one spouse from assuming the other spouse's debts upon divorce, as well as make sure that you can leave the marriage with the same assets you brought into the marriage. A prenup can also save you time and money during the divorce process, as the most complicated part of a divorce is often the property division process. If you are already married, you and your spouse can enter into a postnuptial agreement.

Military divorce: Get protection you need while on active duty

Going through a divorce is difficult, especially when you're also in the military. You have your own concerns to deal with on the job, and you may not be with your spouse often. The idea of having to make time for court may seem impossible.

One of the most important acts for military members who are deployed is the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. It protects servicemembers' rights while they're deployed on active duty.

Explain divorce to your kids: All ages are different

When children are involved in a divorce, it can be a troubling time for them. Even when they're teens or adults, the idea of their parents splitting up can be frustrating, surprising and shocking.

For younger children, it's important that care is taken to explain the divorce in an age-appropriate way. If you aren't sure how to do that, then this might help you.

Sarah Palin's husband files for divorce after 31 years

Divorcing from a long-term spouse can be extremely difficult, particularly if you have been in the public eye for many years. Former Alaskan governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is now facing divorce from her husband of 31 years, Todd Palin. The couple has been married since 1988 and have five children together, including an 11-year-old son with Down Syndrome.

Todd filed for divorce, saying that they are incompatible when it comes to temperament and that it is not possible for them to continue living together as husband and wife. Todd is requesting an equal division of the couple's assets and debts, as well as shared custody of their 11-year-old son.

Why do divorce rates increase at the end of the summer?

As summer comes to an end, many couples make the decision to end their marriage. A study by the University of Washington shows that divorce rates generally peak in August. Divorce attorneys often find that people who discussed divorce with them during the fall or spring months come back in August with the intent of moving forward with the plan.

There are many possible reasons for this end-of-summer divorce increase. Many couples make the mistake of thinking that the summer will give them a chance to get away from their problems and start over. However, once the summer ends, couples find that their problems are still there and that divorce is the only solution. People may even find someone new over the summer, encouraging them to proceed with the divorce.

Protecting your post-divorce finances

As a married couple in Washington, you and your spouse likely got used to a certain lifestyle and learned to manage your finances together. If divorce is in your imminent future however, you may have to make certain changes to ensure you can maintain your financial stability post-divorce.

The first step should be implementing a budget for your life after divorce and focusing on your immediate needs. You may find that you need a new place to live, a new vehicle and new insurance under your own name, on top of necessities such as food and gas. Once you have a few months of post-divorce life under your belt, you can turn your attention to long-term goals such as saving for retirement or college. It is also important that you keep aside money to cover the costs of the actual divorce.

Military deployments can make child custody complicated

Child custody situations often grow complicated when parents want to move for their careers. When that career is in the military, it can become even more complex than many people realize.

For instance, perhaps a military member has joint custody with their ex. When they're stationed at their home base, it's a simple matter of exchanging the children once a week, as any other parent would. But how does that change when they get deployed? It can happen quickly, they may be gone for weeks or months, and it's clear that the standard child custody plan is not going to work.

Brandon and Leah Jenner finalize divorce settlement

Even when a divorce is amicable, it can be difficult for couples in Spokane to come to an agreement on child custody arrangements, property division and other common divorce issues. Brandon Jenner, son of Caitlyn Jenner and Linda Thompson, and Leah Jenner, daughter of Eagles guitarist Don Felder, were married for six years before deciding to divorce in September 2018. Brandon and Leah recently reached a divorce settlement, with July 15 listed as their official date of divorce.

The former couple apparently agreed to share both joint legal and physical custody of their 4-year-old daughter. Vacations and holidays with their daughter will be divided evenly between them. The agreement also states that Brandon will pay $2,000 a month in spousal support until the end of 2021, as well as $2,000 a month in child support until their daughter's 18th birthday.

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