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Some Useful Tips for How to Prepare for Divorce

I was recently invited to collaborate on an expert panel and share some insights on how to prepare for divorce and keep it peaceful. Here are my best tips: 1. Educate yourself and know your options: litigation vs. mediation. I've found that when couples clearly understand the difference between those two options, they are able to discuss their issues in a more amicable manner. To find a mediator that couples are comfortable with and both are able to relate. Otherwise one of them will be resentful and might sabotage the process. 2. Be realistic about your goals and don’t feel entitled to the same lifestyle. Dealing with your emotions prior to mediation, during, and after will help tremendously. Anger, resentment, blame, etc. - all are detrimental. When couples are working with therapists, life coaches, etc. - the divorce process is so much easier. 3. Always keep the best interests of the children in mind. When couples in divorce are able to truly follow this, the divorce process becomes a breeze. You can read the full article here: How to Prepare for Divorce https://www.equitablemediation.com/blog/how-to-prepare-for-divorce

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Reviews of Life Insurance Policies

There’s no way to get around it: death is not a pleasant topic of conversation. However, loss does happen and when it does, it’s crucial to know that the people who depend on you are taken care of. That’s why an experienced and unbiased research team spent months analyzing 67 life insurance companies to help single parents. Their goal was simple: determine the most reliable and smartest options that can help offset funeral costs, ensure stability for dependents, and create some semblance of peace of mind. Ultimately, they created a guide that helps walk people through the process of purchasing life insurance, highlights the different factors they should consider, and translates all the confusing terminology. You can see the guide here: www.reviews.com/life-insurance/ I hope that this research would be a useful resource to you; navigating this overwhelming industry isn’t easy — especially for those of us who already have enough on our plates.

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What is the Good of a Good Divorce?

Being a mediator for over 12 years, I often ask myself a question: what is the “good” of a good divorce and why is good ending valuable even when couples don’t have children and presumably will never see each other again following their divorce? What can mediation give to couples besides the obvious benefits of being much less expensive and time consuming? I believe that good ending can bring forth a good beginning. Couples in mediation, while negotiating over their divorce agreements and trying to find reasonable compromises, often reflect on what went wrong and why. This causes them to contemplate on how they can change their situation in the future for the better. If they can sort out some of their issues while they are in mediation, they are less likely to repeat the same mistakes again. To me this is a huge benefit One of my clients once said to me on their last mediation session: I feel like we could have stayed married if we’d communicated with each other as we do now in mediation. I thought to myself that they could have stayed married should they have learned to communicate earlier and thus become a people they are transforming into now by getting a divorce.

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What can be done to minimize the pain of divorce for your children?

As I have written in my earlier blogs, children will have negative reaction to their parents’ divorce. How to minimize their pain will depend on how divorcing couples handle their divorce situations and how they behave, especially in front of their children. Children need to understand what is going on so they don’t feel “left in the dark” and out of control. However, they don’t need to know every dirty detail and every angry remark you make while you are being separated. Provide truthful information which is age appropriate, emphasize that divorce is not their fault and that your love for them will not change. Do not bad-mouth the other parent to your children, even though you may feel angry and frustrated with him/her, and even though you absolutely truly believe that your ex-partner is totally in the wrong. When you do bad-mouth, children feel that they need to take sides and that increases their feeling of guilt. Another trap many divorcing parents fall for is that they use their children as confidantes. Doing that will make your children feel guilty towards the other parent. Also this way you may overburden them with the information that they absolutely do not need and thus increase their already high stress level. It is a very good idea to consult with a mental health professional on how to help your children cope with your divorce, especially if you feel that the situation gets out of control. If both parents can work with the same mental health professional to minimize their children’s pain and stress, that would create a more stable environment for them. Another very important tip for the divorcing parents is to be as consistent as possible, especially when it comes to visiting and keeping plans. Your children have just experienced a major loss in their lives. By keeping the routines going you help them to maintain some normalcy and equilibrium in their lives.

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The way your kids react to your divorce depends on their age

How children react and make sense of their parent’s separation will vary depending on their age and stage of development at the time of their parents' divorce. Children younger than two or three years may have fewer negative effects, especially if the bond and close relationship with both their parents is sustained. Still babies do feel their parents’ distress, might cope poorly with alterations and discontinuity in schedules and might also feel unprotected. Preschoolers (children three to five years of age) might blame themselves and believe they have caused their parents’ divorce. At this age, children may fear being left alone or abandoned and for that reason might regress into a baby-like behavior. They might become uncooperative, depressed or angry. They will yearn for the absent parent especially if they do not see him/her very often. School-aged children (six to 12 years of age) will probably have the most difficult time coping with their parent’s divorce. They are old enough to understand what is going on, but they are too young to comprehend or control their reactions to this pain. They will be torn between the two parents and feel forced to choose. Therefore, such feelings like shame, resentment, rejection, and anger are extremely common to the school-aged children at this difficult time in their lives. Adolescents will also experience anger, fear, loneliness, and depression. They will also worry about their financial security and their future plans. Some will be frustrated should they be made responsible for chores that were not part of their routine when their parents stayed together. They might question the marriage institution in general and their own ability and desire to get or stay married. No matter how old your child is, divorce will have a major impact on his/her life. Will your child have long lasting consequences? That will depend on how you end your marriage, how you build your life after divorce and how you deal with your ex-partner in front of your children. It is absolutely possible to raise happy and well-rounded children when you are divorced. It will take some hard work from both of you: but the results are certainly well worth it.

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