Legal Blog

Stressors for Divorcing Parents and How to Cope

stressGoing through the divorce process will generate some highly stressful situations.  According to Single Parent Magazine, there are 13.6 million single parents in the United States. Let’s take a look at some of the top stressors and tools for coping, so that you can overcome these challenges and meet them head on.

Uncertainty.

  • Seek expert assistance to help resolve uncertainties and get answers to your questions. From the beginning of the process, think about developing a team of experts to help you. A family law attorney can make sure that you are well educated on the divorce process and ensure that you get the best outcome for your situation. Talk with a counselor or therapist to help you understand and deal with emotional aspects.  You should also seek the advice of a reputable financial advisor to gain a better understanding of the financial realities.
  • Your agreement or court order should provide details. A mediated agreement should be a place that puts certainty into uncertainty about dates, times, money, rights, and obligations.
  • Work out a plan for potential issues in advance rather than waiting until the last minute. For instance, make sure that you have reliable child care in place when you need to meet for divorce proceedings. Be sure also to prepare backup plans just in case your sitter is unavailable for any reason. Anticipate conflicts about time with the children, such as holidays in particular. Planning ahead and staying organized will serve you well and help you to cope when uncertainties arise.
  • Set realistic expectations.
  • The sooner you can get things resolved the better. Uncertainty breeds fear, and people do not make the best decisions when they are afraid.

Money.

  • You will need to work with your ex-spouse to manage finances relating to your children and your household. You may also be faced with figuring out how to divide assets or sell valuable belongings, including your house. Mediation can help you and your spouse to come to an agreement about your shared financial future, including child support and/or alimony payments.
  • Even if managing money has never been an issue for you in the past, things will change after divorce. You will need to learn to live within a budget that may at times seem impossible. Creating a realistic budget and sticking to it will be important to help alleviate financial stress. Planning for future “unplanned” expenses will also alleviate anguish.
  • As a divorced parent, your tax status may change. You should investigate filing as the head of the household, dependent exemptions, child tax credit, child care credit, and the earned income tax credit. Talk with a tax expert about your specific situation and be sure to take advantage of everything that is out there to help you financially!
  • Unsolicited advice. Many people will offer unsolicited advice based on their limited knowledge of your situation and their experiences. Although in many cases, this comes from a genuine desire to help, that advice is often not good advice and to make matters worse, all the people who care about you and tell you what to do, often tell you different things! Those same people are not in your shoes and do not have to live with the outcome. You have the tools you need to make decisions for your life. Listen to sound advice from your family law attorney then trust yourself to make the right decisions for you.

Prioritize.

During the divorce proceedings, you will need to let go of the things that are not evidence-based. Understand that you may never get answers to every question or know the entirety of what is affecting your life.  Work on focusing on the facts of your present and future, not on the mistakes of the past- real or perceived. Concentrate on what you need to do to keep the process moving forward. There are many distractions at such a time in your life. Focus on the priority, and don’t let the rest drive you in the wrong direction. For questions about divorce in Maryland, please contact Linda Sorg Ostovitz, at (301) 575-0381 or email lostovitz@offitkurman.com to schedule a consultation or mediation.

ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN

Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With 120 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eight offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Northern Virginia markets, as well as the Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City metropolitan areas. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

You can connect with Offit Kurman via our BlogFacebookTwitterGoogle+YouTube, and LinkedIn pages.  You can also sign up to receive Law Matters, Offit Kurman’s monthly newsletter covering a diverse selection of legal and corporate thought leadership content.

MARYLAND | PENNSYLVANIA | VIRGINIA| NEW JERSEY | NEW YORK | DELAWARE | WASHINGTON, DC