In the last post, I made some recommendations about how to begin thinking about what you should do when you and your partner are splitting. I mentioned that there are some short, medium, and long range issues about which to think. I want to make some general comments before going on. These comments are made from my observations of doing therapy for couples for many years.
Unless you’re choosing to abandon your kids, your kids are with you forever. Your financial agreements may say who pays for what through college, but you will be going to your child(ren)’s graduation and weddings and the births of their children as well. You can expect to have fights over these down the line. Just as important, you will have to decide how you both will handle seating arrangements at all events as well as holiday celebrations when your children are adults. You can’t write these into your separation agreements—but you have to know that they’re going to happen.
That brings me to the short and medium range issues as well. You may have some of the money issues locked down, but you need to be prepared as to who does what when your children are younger. One splitting couple I know had not figured out the seating arrangements for a school play, who was going to bring the required desert, and what kind of desert to bring—and how much to pay for it.
Some other concerns come up. I and countless others have warned against saying bad things or making faces about your partner. There’s a related item: you have to make sure your family and friends don’t do it, either. Grandparents can be your advocates and have their own opinions about “what happened.” But they should keep their opinions to themselves. They should also be careful about favoring one child against another.
There’s more I will add on this topic in a follow up blog post.