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The Family Does Not End with the Marriage

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One of the most painful aspects of divorce is how to tell the children that Mommy and Daddy will not live together anymore. Children are the innocent victims when a marriage falls apart. Your feelings toward your soon-to-be-ex may be bitter and even vengeful. Your children's feelings are not the same. Daddy is still Daddy, no matter what. Your children have every right to love each parent unconditionally. Even though that marriage ends, the family you created is forever. Your ex will forever be tied to you through the children.

The difficulty of divorcing with children is lost on those who divorce when they are childless. If there are no children, most exes have no reason to see each other again. Divorcing with children involves custody agreements, visitations schedules and child support negotiations.

Most states require a workshop for parents who divorce in hopes of giving them tools to deal with the ex during an acrimonious time. These tips are often forgotten when the ex brings back the children two hours late or refuses to help pay for a dental bill. If you are still in the middle of divorce and custody proceedings, the judge is going to look for the parent who has been the most cooperative. Developing a spirit of cooperation takes practice and self control.
  • Never, never get the children involved you any squabble or disagreement with your ex. No matter what their age is, let them be kids. The children are going through enough with the dissolution of the marriage. Children are not stupid. They know that Mommy and Daddy have problems or they would be together. Shield them from as much as you can from the circumstances of the divorce. Avoid arguing with your spouse in front of the children if at all possible. Never mention any problems with child support.


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  • You are in the business of raising your children. Treat your ex as you would a business colleague. You may have people you don't like at work, but you still maintain civility because you have to see them every day. Offer your spouse this same type of courtesy.


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  • The ideal situation for the children is to see Mommy and Daddy become friends. This may be impossible if there was abuse in the marriage. Friendship will require forgiveness, grace and practice. Try to remember what you liked about your ex that made you marry him. Concentrate on those things. You will be much more comfortable sitting next to your spouse at your child's graduation or wedding one day if you can have managed to put the past behind you.


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  • Make a plan soon after you separate on how to keep holiday traditions. Visitation agreements are the most difficult part of any divorce. Planning ahead (even years ahead) can quell future arguments and give the children a sense of tradition and security.


  • Parents determine their children's future. Even if you are deciding that future from separate homes, remember you have one common goal in mind---to raise happy and healthy children.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: CATHI ADAMS
    (c) 2003-2008 Cathi Adams.

    Cathi Adams is the author of "Divorce Secrets: What Every Women Should Know." This invaluable resource provides steps to ensure financial security to woman faced with the possibility of divorce. Visit her web site for a FREE report -What You Absolutely Must Know Before You Even THINK About Getting A Divorce: http://www.DivorceDefense.com

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