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Dealing With Your Ex During and After Divorce

Divorced fathers and parental alienation, mental health, co-parenting

How Dads Can Respond to Moms and Protect Kids' Best Interests During the Divorce Process

When your marriage has broken down, and it looks like divorce is in your future, it's natural to struggle with the changes in your relationship with your ex-spouse. You probably thought she was going to be your life-long partner, so you'll need to come to terms with the fact that you won't be spending the rest of your lives together. You may be feeling betrayal, guilt, anger, and many other emotions, but as you work through the divorce process, you'll want to try to set these emotions aside so you can find practical and workable solutions to the legal issues involved in dissolving your marriage.

Issues to Address When Dealing With Your Ex

When your relationship is on the rocks, you're probably ready to leave it behind and move on with your life. However, when you and your ex have children together, you're going to have to maintain an ongoing relationship as parents. As you work to complete your divorce, you may need to address some or all of the following issues:

  • Reasons for divorce - Both you and your ex may blame each other for the breakdown of your marriage, but in most cases, you won't need to establish who was at fault for the divorce. However, you should be aware of how your ex's behavior before and during your divorce could affect issues such as property division and spousal support.
  • Mental health and substance abuse - If your spouse suffers from a mental illness or an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you'll want to take the proper measures to protect your children from harm. You may also need to address financial issues related to mental health or substance abuse, such as the dissipation of marital assets.
  • Divorcing a narcissist - If your ex has narcissistic tendencies, you may need to be prepared for high levels of conflict during your divorce. You'll want to take steps to protect your parental rights and your finances while remaining as calm and professional as possible as you work to resolve your ongoing legal issues.
  • Parental alienation - If your ex has attempted to damage your relationship with your children, you'll want to take immediate legal action to address this behavior, prevent emotional harm to your kids, and protect your parental rights.
  • Parenting agreements and co-parenting - Since you and your ex will need to work together to raise your children in the years following your divorce, you can establish a new relationship as co-parents. The parenting plan or joint custody agreement that will be included in your divorce decree can serve as a foundation for this relationship, laying the ground rules that both of you will follow.
  • Domestic violence and abuse - If you or your children have been the victims of physical or emotional abuse by your ex, you'll want to understand your legal options for leaving the relationship, obtaining protection against further harm, and addressing issues related to child custody and visitation.
  • The marital home and living arrangements - Before you move out of your family home, you'll want to understand how this may affect your rights regarding marital property and custody of your children. You'll also need to determine how you and your ex will handle ownership of this valuable asset.

When you're determining the best approach to take as you deal with your ex-spouse, you'll want to work with a skilled and experienced divorce lawyer. Your attorney can advise you of your rights and your legal options, and they can help you understand the best strategies for completing the divorce process successfully.

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