Divorce with Kids Requires Advanced Planning

Preparing for divorce with kids requires a proactive approach.Preparing for divorce with kids can bring additional financial and emotional stressors.  The chaos of making life-altering decisions on their behalf in order for them to thrive during and after divorce can be an exhausting endeavor.  All family members must adjust to the changes created by separation and divorce while striving toward a healthy outcome.  While both spouses are attempting to reach a divorce settlement, they are also balancing the emotional roller-coaster in the midst of making decisions that will affect the quality of all family member’s lives, which is not an easy task.  The attitude, efforts, and goals that parents create and how they move forward will ultimately have a profound effect upon the children whether it is negative or positive. After all, it’s the kids who are asked to live two separate lives.  Listed below are suggestions for helping family members thrive through and beyond the process.


When couples are in the midst of separation and divorce, the goal of accommodating or working together is usually non-existent.  Since this is the environment for most couples, you must prepare in advance for what you and the children need from the outcome of divorce and have the ability to explain.  Most individuals are so overwhelmed during the process that they have difficulty identifying what their current needs are and how to plan effectively for the years ahead.  Taking the needed time to explore the ages of the children and their current needs, how these needs will change as they mature and what roles parents will play during this process is vital to ensure that your children will not do without because you did not plan ahead.  When you have taken the needed time to identify the family’s goals in advance you’re more likely to get the things you want if you know what they are.  As noted, a couple's working relationship during divorce can be problematic, so taking a personal proactive approach toward realistically planning for the family’s post-divorce life is vital for a satisfactory divorce proposal and settlement. 


When life brings about change, individuals must find healthy outlets to reduce the stress that often accompanies.  Divorce creates changes for everyone and stress doesn’t discriminate according to age. When searching for these outlets, it is wise to incorporate techniques that can be accomplished as a family while recognizing that parents may need independent time away from the children.

Parents need to intentionally plan time with their children for fun and laughter.  Children are usually aware of the family stress, therefore, they need reassurance from each parent for stability and well-being.  When working toward de-stressing with your kids, age-appropriate activities can help foster a more positive and healthy environment. Suggestions may include: 

  • Exercise – Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins which foster positive feelings that can be beneficial during a time filled with uncertainty.  Exercise such as riding bikes and playing at the park while enjoying nature walks can allow family bonding and a time to allow stress to fade away.
  • Intentional laughter – Exploring ways which bring laughter should rank high on your stress reduction list.  Ideas may include – playing games or watching comedy movies together.  

Both mom and dad can enjoy the fun-filled family activities as well but both need alone time as this new chapter of life is developing.  Again, this must be intentional so now is the time to create a goal for the week ahead.  What is one idea that you may have to reduce stress without involving the kids?  Some examples may include – joining the local gym for an exercise class which also creates an opportunity to form new friendships.  When the children are visiting their other parent, it can create much stress.  Therefore, plan now how you will spend this time alone.  Taking time for yourself to enjoy a good book, have dinner with a friend or learn a new hobby are great suggestions.  The plan is to take a break from divorce, the children and the worries of life in order to focus on you.


Being realistic concerning the lack of communication with your spouse during the divorce process is imperative.  Co-parenting the children requires ongoing parenting that ultimately involves effective communication for the children’s well-being.  As you begin preparing what you will propose for divorce, it is also wise to create a family communication plan.  Written communication creates a document of the conversation content. Email is an efficient means for written communication and provides a convenient method to store as well as print the conversation.  OurFamilyWizard is a platform where the communication between spouses is recorded and stored for easy retrieval. Planning in advance how to keep both parents focused on the children and learning effective communication techniques can create a more positive future.

Preparing for divorce with kids requires a proactive approach, utilizing stress reduction techniques can be effective for all family members and creating a communication plan to stay focused are essential techniques during the process.

Author Bio: Audrey Silcox is the founder of DivorceToolBox.com a web-based video series designed to help men and women navigate the emotional, financial and child-related challenges of divorce. It offers support tools for those facing divorce and professionals who work with divorcing individuals.  Audrey has degrees in Psychology, Counseling, and Divorce and Family Mediation. Divorce Tool Box has been endorsed by professionals from diverse backgrounds. Using Divorce Tool Box allows you to avoid some of the potential pitfalls of negotiating your divorce settlement without thoughtful preparation. It's true what they say: knowledge is power. Visit www.DivorceToolBox.com today and follow Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for ongoing support.