5 Common Thoughts After Marriage Separation & Divorce

Everyone has their own way of coping with divorce. This includes telling ourselves certain things that can inhibit our healing and prevent us from moving on.

Here are 5 common thoughts that newly separated or divorced people have, and why they shouldn’t:

1. “I hate not having my kids around all of the time. I feel guilty.”

In reality, everyone can benefit from free time, whether it be to get errands done, or just to have a break to relieve stress. You shouldn’t feel guilty about having time away from your kids – it can actually make you a better parent. Use this time to spend alone, with friends, working out, enjoying hobbies, and the like.  Most parents can only wish they had more time to themselves!

2.  “I’m never going to meet anyone else. I hate dating.”

Way too often (married or not), people stay with their partner out of fear that they will not meet anyone else.  This is one of the worst reasons to stay with someone.  There is always a chance to meet someone else that you can be happy with, but that will never happen if you stay in your bad relationship.  When it comes to dating, you have to be positive and patient. Not everyone you meet will be a great match for you, but the most important thing is that you are putting yourself out there and trying!  The more dates you go on, the sooner you will find someone you click with.

3. “My ex ruined my life.”

They did not ruin your life because you still have your whole life ahead of you – one that will be full of new experiences, people, and fun times.  This was one chapter of your life, and you still have the whole book to explore. Be grateful of all of the good times that you had with your ex and for everything you learned from the relationship.  It’s important to take responsibility for your part in the relationship and do what you need to do to become a happier person NOW.  That could include counselling, dating new people, travelling, meeting new people, and so on. Dwelling on the past will not help you heal.

4. “My kids will know how badly they treated me!”

Be the bigger person and refrain from talking poorly about your ex to your children.  Divorce is extremely hard for kids to experience and the last thing they need is to feel like they are caught in the middle or have to dislike your ex to make you happy.  In the long run, you will feel better that you took this approach.

5. “Everyone knows the divorce was not my fault.”

There are always two sides to every story, and it’s simply best not to care what other people think or to try to sway their opinion.  It will actually reflect worse on you if you are constantly putting your ex down.  Sure, it is one thing to vent to friends, but keep it to a minimum. Remember, the less negativity you put out there, the more people will want to be around you…and you need your friends for support!

Do you know of someone considering separation or divorce? Do you need to talk to a divorce lawyer? Call Rahul.  He helps clients in Vancouver, New Westminster, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Richmond, Surrey, and area.



















What’s Included in a Parenting Plan?

When a couple has a child then decides to separate or divorce, the topic of “child custody” or “parenting time” has to be addressed.  The best way to approach this is to create a parenting plan, which is a written document that outlines how parents will raise their child and deal with various situations. It should have enough detail to be useful, without being so inflexible that it becomes unrealistic to implement and follow through on.

A parenting plan can help reduce conflict by outlining guidelines and expectations. Less chance of conflict means children will be able to cope better with the separation or divorce.  It can also alleviate the stress of the separation or divorce if kids observe that their parents are cooperating and doing their best to get along.

It is a good idea to consider the age of your child and how well you are able to communicate and co-parent when determining how specific your parenting plan should be.

The main areas outlined in a parenting plan include:

-> When each parent will care for the child
-> Who will make decisions going forward with regard to the children (jointly or individually, and if the other parent is to be consulted)
-> How information will be shared and communicated between the parents

Parenting plans also include how various other issues will be addressed such as:

Living arrangements and parenting schedules
Will the child live in one residence or move between two homes?
– Will the parents live within a certain distance from each other for convenience?
– What happens if one parent moves away?
– Details re: drop-off and pick-up times and locations, as well as who is responsible
– Childcare arrangements
– How children will communicate with the other parent when not with them
– How changes to parenting schedules should be dealt with

Vacations & Special Holidays
Determine which household the child will be during summer vacation and other school breaks, as well as on holidays
– Arrangements for other significant days such as birthday’s, weddings, funerals, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day

– How will decisions be made regarding medical and dental?
– Who will take the child to their appointments?
– How will parents notify each other should an emergency occur?

Decisions about where the child will go to school
– Who will attend school events and parent-teacher conferences?
– Payment and consent for school trips
– Reasons for missed days at school

– If one parent wants to travel with the child, will they give notice to the other parent?
– Is written consent required to take the child out of the country?
– Who keeps the child’s passport?
– Changes and problems with parenting plan
– What will be the process for making changes to the parenting plan?
– How will disagreements be resolved re: the parenting plan?

What types of activities will the child participate in?
– Who will pay?
– Who will provide transportation?

– Decisions re: religious denomination and activities.

– Decisions re: events, activities, language
– Grandparents and extended family
– When will visits take place?
– Who will be there?

Various other parenting issues such as safety, discipline, use of phone, diet, photographs, pets, introducing the child to new partner etc.

As you can see, a parenting plan can make the transition period from married to separated / divorced much easier, as well as serve as an excellent guideline going forward as your child grows up.

It is a great idea to consult with a Mediator or Collaborative Divorce Lawyer if you need help reaching an agreement and also to ensure that you have all of your bases covered.  Call Rahul at Clean Divorce today!

Questions Kids Ask Parents About Separation or Divorce

The word “divorce” can be one of scariest words that a child will ever hear. Even if it is obvious to the child that the situation at home is not going well, kids never really want to think of a future without their mother and father living in the same house. It evokes feelings of stress, sadness, and confusion.

To make this process as positive as possible, you need to establish open communication.  This is key because it opens the door for kids to express their feelings and ask questions. If they know that you welcome their questions and feedback, it will definitely alleviate their stress and worry, as compared to having to keep everything to themselves and wonder what the future holds. Also, ensure that they understand that it is normal for them to have an emotional response to the divorce.

Kids should also be encouraged to voice their concerns to people close to them that they can trust, aside from parents, which may include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings. It is also a good idea to make sure that they know that they are not the only ones going through this. You likely have other relatives or family friends who have gone through separation or divorce, which you could use as examples that may help them relate.

When you and your spouse decide to separate or divorce, you should expect your child to ask these types of questions:

  • Why are you getting divorced?
  • Was this my fault?
  • Do I still have a family?
  • Will my parents both love me after the divorce?
  • How often will I see my mom/dad?
  • Who will I (and my siblings) live with?
  • Are we going to move?
  • Will I always feel this bad?
  • How long is the divorce going to take?
  • Are you going to get remarried?

The more confidence you have in your answers, the more at ease your child will feel. This is why it is very important to be prepared with what you are going to say prior to telling them about the separation or divorce. The goal is to avoid as much uncertainty as possible.

After your initial discussion, ensure that you check in with your child ongoing to see how they are feeling, if they have any questions, and to ensure that their school work is not suffering from the stress of the situation. Also, remember that divorce is between the adults, not the children. You should never speak ill of the other parent in front of the children. It almost always leads to the children feeling the stress of the situation and taking the blame for it.

It is crucial to make your child feel as though their thoughts and feelings are important and that their voice counts!

An excellent Canadian publication “What happens next?” provides useful information for children about what to expect from their parents’ separation or divorce.

In Collaborative Divorce, the goal is to reduce the negative effects of your separation or divorce on your children as much as possible. Call Rahul for a FREE 20-minute consultation to discuss why this would be a smart choice for the well-being of your family.