Plan for the Unexpected in All Areas
[D]ivorce and child custody can be an ugly mean game. Sadly most parents don’t take the high road for the sake of the relationship or the process for the kids. Since you have determined you cannot move forward in the relationship together you must have your guard up and be hyper sensitive in regards to your Ex, your children, and your surroundings. It is time to be proactive going into a divorce.
Most men enter the process very unprepared and caught off guard. Now is the time to have your guard up and be a little more cautious. Look over your shoulder when you drive. Study your kids mode swings. Think before answering random questions to strangers. Be suspicious of everything your Ex tells you or does. Always be asking yourself, “Why is she doing this?”
Make a list of strange things or requests that your Ex has done lately. Think before you speak, review Five Common Communicating Mistakes Made with the Ex. Don’t wait to the last minute. Also reach out to your friends and family. While telling your piers you are going through a divorce is humbling, it is understandably common. The last action you need to do during this process is to go into isolation. Now is the time to gather around those who can help and support you.
Love on Your Kids & Keep Them Out of the Middle
Now is the time to step up your relationship with your kids. This news of mom and dad splitting up is devastating to a child of any age. Be supportive. Be available. Try very hard to not involve them in the separation process. It should be obviously, but worth restating. Take extra time to spend with your kids. If you notice depression, drop in school grades, change in character or high levels of misbehavior–understand this is normal. Consider getting them additional counseling as this is hard on them as well.
Have a Contingency Plan for Everything
Who can I call in an emergency?
Where can I stay if I was kicked out of the house?
What is the phone number of my attorney or my attorney’s aid?
Who can I call if I get worked up and need assistance to calm down?
What mutual friend has time to come over if the situation gets out-of-line?
What friends have my back?
Who can watch the kids for a few days if we need time to talk?
What is your contingency plan for working through the next week and month?
It is time to plan for the unexpected. It is time to play the “what if” game and have a game plan. Divorce and custody is a serious life process, be proactive going into a divorce. Many have successful maneuvered through it. You’re going to be okay, but you have to plan accordingly.
What proactive advice would you give? What do you wish you knew when you started your divorce?
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