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What’s the best way to tell your children about divorce?

When it's clear that your marriage is on the rocks, you may turn your attention to the divorce process. It doesn't necessarily mean you're ready to move down this path just yet, but it's on your radar.

If you eventually decide to ask for a divorce, you must consider the impact it'll have on your children. Here's what you should do:

  • Be honest: Explain the basics of divorce, as well as it what it means to their future. Keep their age in mind when doing so, as you don't want to "talk above them" and cause additional confusion.
  • Tell them they'll still get to spend time with both parents: Your children may have concerns about seeing both of you, now that you won't be living in the same home. As long as you know that your ex-spouse will stay involved, you can confidently share this.
  • Be open to answering their questions: Don't make your children feel as if you're rushing through the conversation. Let them know it's okay to experience a variety of emotions. And also make it clear that you're available to answer their questions, no matter what's on their mind.

Career questions to answer if you decide to divorce

It's easy to understand the impact of divorce on your personal life, but many people overlook the fact that it'll do the same to their career. Neglecting to plan for this as far in advance as possible can result in additional challenges down the road.

Here are some of the most important career-related questions to answer if you decide to divorce your spouse:

  • Should you tell your employer? There are arguments for and against this, so you need to consider the pros and cons of both approaches. For example, if you think you'll need to take time away from work to manage the divorce process, it may be necessary to let your employer in on your situation.
  • Will divorce alter where you live? Maybe you've come to the realization that you won't remain in the family home. If so, consider the impact a new address will have on your employment. Most importantly, you need to find a home in close proximity to your job so that you can continue to commute as you always have.
  • How will divorce change your financial circumstances? The answer to this question will help you determine what comes next with your job. For instance, if you need to earn more money to make ends meet, it may be time to consider a career change or at the very least a job search.

How to approach heavy highway traffic

When driving on the highway, you expect traffic to move at a high rate of speed. However, there are times when this doesn't happen, such as during rush hour or if there is construction on the road.

There are many steps you can take to safely approach heavy highway traffic, including:

  • Keeping your eyes on the road ahead: It's critical to identify a slow down before you're too close, as doing so allows you to prevent a rear-end accident. Keeping your eyes on the road ahead allows you to make the necessary adjustments before it's too late.
  • Staying in your lane: As traffic slows, you immediately look for a way to make up time. And there's no better option, at least at first thought, than finding the fast lane. Lane changing can increase the risk of an accident, so stay where you are.
  • Exiting the highway: If you don't like what you see, exit the highway and seek an alternative route to your destination. It may slow you down, but it's better than remaining in a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

Divorce will have you contemplating these life questions

When you decide to divorce, your life turns into a whirlwind of emotions. While it's a challenge to deal with everything that comes your way, it's possible to devise a plan that allows you to do just that.

At some point, as things begin to settle down, you'll find yourself contemplating a variety of life questions. These can include:

  • What's next in regards to finding that special someone? It's perfectly normal to want to date again, but don't get ahead of yourself. There is plenty of time for this in the future. Make sure you first take enough time to process your divorce and understand what you want out of your next relationship.
  • Do I have the financial means to maintain my standard of living? Don't wait too long to address this question, as you need a clear idea of where your finances stand, how to adjust your budget and what you can do to continue to enjoy your life.
  • How will it impact the rest of my family? For example, if you have children with your ex, you'll have questions and concerns about their well-being. There's no simple answer to this question, but you need to keep it in mind as the days go by.

Financial questions to answer after deciding on divorce

Maybe it was your idea to proceed with the divorce process. Or maybe your spouse feels that it's for the best. Perhaps the both of you mutually agree that your marriage is no longer working.

Regardless of the lead up, once you decide to divorce it's critical that you turn a good portion of your attention and resources to your current and future financial circumstances.

Reasons why co-parenting may not be working for you

Your divorce is finalized, you have a parenting agreement in place and you hope that you and your ex are able to provide your children with stability. But soon enough you realize that everything associated with co-parenting is going haywire.

There are many reasons why your co-parenting experience is coming up short, including the following:

  • One of you is always seeking an argument: Let go of what happened in the past, so you can turn your full attention to the future. If you look to argue about everything, you'll find it easy to do so.
  • You don't communicate: Even if you don't want to communicate with your ex, you don't really have a choice. It's critical to do so via text, email, phone or face-to-face meetings. You don't have to talk about your personal life. Stick to the important details associated with co-parenting and your children.
  • Your parenting agreement doesn't align with the situation: You create a parenting agreement with the idea that it'll make life easier, but it could actually cause more harm than good. If you have issues about your agreement, discuss them with your ex. They may agree with you, making it much easier to secure a modification.

Actions to take if your spouse asks you for a divorce

Even if things aren't great in your marriage, you may never expect your spouse to ask for a divorce. But if this happens, you must immediately assess the situation and turn your attention to the future.

Here are some of the steps you want to take:

  • Ask your spouse if they're 100 percent sure: This doesn't mean you should beg them to reconsider. You're simply trying to determine if there is another path to take.
  • Decide on your immediate living arrangements: For example, your spouse may decide to move out for the time being. Or maybe you realize it's best to take your children elsewhere while you work through the details of your divorce. Regardless of the approach you take, do your best to discuss it in an adult manner with your spouse.
  • Focus on your finances: Your financial situation is changing forever. Start by creating a property and debt division checklist, along with a new budget. Also, make note of your current income and how it'll allow you to live post-divorce.
  • Avoid discussing important details: You know that matters of property division, spousal support, child support and child custody need worked through, but now's not the time for that. You need to let things sink in before you discuss these topics.

Remember, your parenting schedule is just the start

When you decide to divorce, you know that it'll affect your children in many ways. For example, you may have concerns about how they'll deal with your split and the amount of time you'll get to spend with them in the future.

While a parenting agreement and visitation schedule is important to your future, keep this in mind: It's just the start.

Winter months bring the fear of black ice

There's nothing scarier than the thought of hitting a patch of ice when traveling at a fast rate of speed. If this happens, there's a good chance you'll lose control of your vehicle, causing an accident.

When it's easy to see that conditions are less than ideal, you can slow down and take other steps to protect yourself. But with black ice, since it's invisible, it's much more difficult to avoid trouble.

Even your separate property can get split in a Michigan divorce

How you divide up your personal property with your ex in divorce will likely depend on a number of factors. If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, that document may guide how the courts split up your assets. You may also be able to reach amicable terms with your ex before you file for divorce through negotiations or mediation.

However, if you don't have an agreement about splitting up your possessions by the time that you file with the courts, then that responsibility falls to the judge presiding over your case. Michigan law directs family court judges to split up marital assets in an equitable manner.

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