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  • How To Lessen the Effects of Divorce on Kids

    Let’s face it, people don’t normally get divorced because they like each other. But, almost all people who are getting divorced love their children and want them to come through the divorce unscathed. Unfortunately, too often the anger between divorcing couples and the fear of “losing” their children causes people to act in ways which do hurt the kids. Here are some simple “rules” to follow to minimize the negative effects of divorce on children.

    1. Try to never speak poorly of the other parent, or allow others to do so, around the kids.
    2. Don’t use the kids as messengers.
    3. Try to continue to work as a team regarding the children.
    4. Remember that even if you had stayed married you wouldn’t have agreed on everything the other parent did.
    5. Back each other up as parents.
    6. Let the kids talk openly with you about their feelings.
    7. It’s ok to say your sad or upset about the divorce, but don’t use the children as your confidant.
    8. Try to keep your children out of the divorce proceedings.

    Here is a link to a short, but excellent article by Kathy Hardie-Williams titled How Can Parents Lessen Traumatic Effects of Divorce on Children?
    Click here for Williams Article

    Finally, remember that you will make mistakes and that is ok; just keep trying to do the best you can.

  • Immediate Steps When Served With Divorce Papers

  • Every person should immediately take the following steps when served or when their spouse tells them they want a divorce, whichever comes first:
    1. Check all your joint bank accounts and make sure you haven’t been frozen out.
    2. Check all your joint bank accounts for withdrawals by your spouse and see if they have stopped automatic deposits.
    3. If your spouse has stopped automatic deposits to your joint bank account or taken out large, unexplained, withdrawals, open a separate savings/checking account and change your automatic deposits to those accounts.
    4. Check all joint credit cards for the same information as in number 1.
    5. Check for large purchases or cash advances on joint credit cards by your spouse.
    6. If your spouse has run up large, unexplained/agreed to charges, inform the credit card company that you will no longer be responsible for new charges.
    NOTE: If you have certain joint bills which are automatically paid by the joint credit card inform the bank you will continue to honor those new charges. You cannot remove your spouse from any type of medical, dental, or auto insurance without court order during the divorce process. Refusing to pay those bills and causing insurance to lapse is considered a form of removal.
    7. Check to make sure your spouse didn’t remove you from any insurance policies.
    8. Change passwords for all personal computers, cell phones, financial accounts, social media accounts, email accounts which are exclusively yours. If possible, do this on a device your spouse has never had access to. Do not change passwords for jointly held items.
    9. Create a new email account. If possible, do this on a device your spouse has never had access to. You can check your old email account, but send all emails from new account. Do not forward your emails from your old account to your new one.
    10. Try to remain calm and not get into any heated arguments with your spouse.
    11. Reach out to friends, preferably non mutual friends, and personal family for support. Try not to bad mouth your spouse.
    12. Get a lawyer who is familiar with family law and doesn’t practice it on the side.
    These are not all the steps you need to follow, but at a minimum you should follow them as quickly as possible.

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