Should You Get a Divorce Before School Starts?
If thoughts of divorce are pervading your mind as you try to juggle summer schedules, you are not alone. Statistics show that divorce rates peak in August and remain high through the end of summer before dropping to an annual low during the winter months.
But, is back-to-school season a good time to get divorced? With everything going on, you may be worrying that now is not the right time to start the divorce process. On the other hand, with your kids in school and focused on extracurricular activities, you may have more scheduling flexibility to arrange meetings with your attorney and negotiation or mediation sessions with your spouse.
The fact of the matter is that there is no single “right” time to start the process, and deciding when to get divorced is something that requires you to give due consideration to all of the relevant circumstances involved.
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Preparing for a Divorce Before School Starts
If you decide to file for divorce before your children start school, here are five tips you can follow to make the process easier for everyone involved:
1. Talk to Your Spouse
Regardless of when you file for divorce, your children’s needs should remain among you and your spouse’s top priorities. Acknowledge both the positive and negative effects your divorce is likely to have on your children and have a plan for addressing substandard academic performance, incidents at school, and any other child-related situations that may arise outside of the context of your divorce.
2. Keep Both Parents Involved
Except in unusual circumstances, both parents should remain actively involved in their children’s lives after their divorce. The same holds true during the divorce process. Regardless of whether you intend to establish a co-parenting relationship or you need to work out parenting rights in a contentious custody battle, neither you nor your spouse should forget what it means to play an active role in your children’s lives.
3. Talk to Your Children’s Teachers
Watching your parents split up is an emotional ordeal and children will not necessarily be equipped to communicate with their teachers about what is going on at home. As a result, teachers will often lack the frame of reference needed to understand seemingly-unexplained changes in behavior. By letting your children’s teachers know about your divorce, you can put everyone in a better position to help your children cope during this difficult time.
4. Be Consistent and as Cohesive as Possible
Whether one of you chooses to leave the family home or you and your spouse remain together during your divorce, it will be important to provide your children with a consistent routine. From nutrition to bedtime, divorcing parents should generally try to stay on the same page as much as possible. If you and your spouse maintain different schedules or openly disagree about issues affecting your children, this can lead to confusion, resentment, and greater emotional instability.
5. Be There for Your Children
From literally being there on time (i.e. picking up your children after school or soccer practice) to providing emotional support when times get tough, divorcing parents need to be there for their children. As we said above, despite what you may be going through, your children’s needs still need to come first. This means making the effort and devoting the time and attention necessary so that your children know you are there for them when they need you most.
MR. Men’s Rights Divorce & Family Law of New Jersey by Schultz & Associates, LLC | Divorce and Family Law Attorneys in Hackensack, NJ
If you are considering a divorce this summer and would like to speak with an attorney, we encourage you to get in touch. To discuss your situation in confidence, please call (201) 880-9770 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.