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Sarasota Family Law Blog

How to help kids do well in school during a divorce

Divorce is distracting for children, and it can be emotionally difficult. This pulls their attention away from their studies, and that's one reason that they tend to do a bit worse in school when their parents split up. Other children with more stable homes live simply, have fewer things to think about, and can focus on school more of the time.

This does not mean you can't get divorced while your child is in school. Long term, you and your children may be happier and healthier after the split, especially in cases of emotional or physical abuse.

Inventory your assets prior to divorce—is everything there?

If divorce is imminent, it is not unusual for either spouse to hide certain assets.

Perhaps your wife or husband has been largely responsible for the financial side of your marriage. If, in terms of marital assets, you sense he or she is not putting everything out on the table, it is time to launch an investigation.

Marrying young can lead to financial stress

Money is often cited as a major reason for divorce. When a couple cannot make ends meet and wind up facing a fair amount of financial stress, they often start heading for divorce. That type of pressure takes a toll on a marriage.

That's just one reason why many experts note that you're taking a risk when you get married young, such as before graduating from college. The divorce rate is quite high for those who get married so early, and one reason for that high rate is that the couple may face a lot of financial stress right out of the gate.

Your parenting schedule may change as the kids go back to school

Children tend to operate on two basic schedules. They have one schedule that they use during the school year, which consists of going to school until roughly 3:00 p.m. every weekday, much the same as their parents' likely work schedule. They have a second schedule for the summer, which is when they get three months off for vacation.

Parents who share custody, then, also need to have two distinct parenting schedules that they can use, depending on the time of year. While the parents may only have one work schedule for their entire year, they have to adjust to their children's needs.

Is gray divorce harder?

Gray divorce is a term often used to refer to people who end their marriages when they are 50 years old or older. The rate in the 1990s was about 10%, but it has risen over the years to about 25%. That's a very quick rise and shows that gray divorce is something people must be aware of.

One thing to consider is that it can, in some ways, be harder than divorce at a younger age.

Signs of parental alienation syndrome

There is a growing population of children and parents who have become estranged or alienated from each other due to the actions and behaviors of another parent. This phenomenon, called parental alienation syndrome, results in some long-term consequences for the alienated parent and the child caught in the middle.

Understand some of the warning signs to help stop this malicious behavior before it gets worse.

Is divorce always bad for the kids?

Divorce experts often say that parents need to put the kids first. This is, in part, why you hear parents talk about staying together for the kids. Once they have children together, they assume they can't split up. They think that it is always going to be a negative for the kids. Is that true?

It's not. If you in a bad marriage, it may actually be better for the children if you get divorced. They could end up feeling happier and safer than they would if you and your spouse stayed together.

For unmarried couples, property splits get complicated

You don't want to get married simply because you have never liked the idea of marriage as an institution. That does not mean you're not committed to your relationship. You are. You and your partner stay together for 10 years.

Then it finally ends. You've been living together and sharing your life just like a married couple. If you break up, do you have property rights just like you would in a divorce?

Summer may increase stress and divorce odds

You think of the summer as a time to relax. Families go on vacation. Kids get time off from school. You have backyard cookouts, you sit by the pool and read a book, you wear comfortable shorts and sandals. It seems like a stress-free time.

However, the reality is that summer actually increases stress for many couples. And, because of this, it can lead to divorce. Studies consistently show that the summer months often lead to a rise in divorce filings.

Tips for getting the most out of your time with the kids

You know that the time you spend with your children is important. You know that studies have linked it to behavior patterns, academic performance and things of this nature. After your divorce, you also know that you will have less time with the kids than you did before, so you want to make the most out of it.

How can you do it? Here are a few key tips:

  • Make a schedule. If your kids are involved in sports and other activities, put all of the events you want to go to on the calendar well in advance. Make it a priority.
  • Put your phone away. Turn it off if you have to. You need to really focus on the kids and connect with them, not browse social media sites while they sit in the same room.
  • Do your errands when you're not with them. You may lament the time that they spend with your ex, but you can use that time to go grocery shopping and do other things that have to get done. That way, when it's your time with the kids, you don't have anything else pulling you away from them.
  • Do not be afraid to just relax. Eat dinner together. Play a board game. Watch a movie. Don't feel like you always need to be out doing something to connect with the kids; that could cause you to burn out, and it could sap your energy. Just relax and enjoy each other's company.

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