Divorce or separation are taxing experiences on any family, and divorce with children can bring a myriad of emotions and challenges to each family member. Moving from joint parenting to becoming a single parent after divorce is a learning curve and brings many obstacles for both the parents and the children. However, there are proactive steps to take to both survive and thrive as a single parent after a recent divorce or separation. Here, the child custody and divorce attorneys at Rodier Family Law discuss tips for newly single parents to help navigate the complexities of daily life after divorce.
Overcome Backlash From Others
When you go through a divorce or separation, it is not uncommon to experience judgment from immediate family members, friends, colleagues, school teachers and others. While there is nothing you can do to prevent this judgment, it is important to remind yourself that you and your children are the most important priorities, and other people’s opinions do not directly affect you. In the early months of becoming a single parent, you may also feel overwhelmed or lost, which can impact self-esteem. This is extremely common, but this is also a great time to become involved in therapy, support groups or other communities that can help restore your confidence and sense of self-worth. You may have been used to making many decisions with your significant other, and are now having to make hard decisions for both you and your child on your own. A wave of emotions can come from these changes, so seek help and guidance from others during this time.
Understand Differences in Parenting Styles
During your marriage and relationship, you and your ex-spouse may have compromised on parenting styles when you were living together. However, once you are no longer together, you cannot always control the parenting decisions your ex-spouse makes during their time with your children. Both of you will be navigating the complexities of being single parents at a time when emotions are already running high after separation and possibly still after your divorce. During this time, both you and your ex-spouse should be patient with each other, putting the best interest of your children first. If you are not on good terms with your ex-spouse, it is important to find professionals to help you navigate the volatile situation until you and your ex-spouse feel more comfortable or cordial with one another. If your ex-spouse is not in the picture, was abusive, or suffers from a form of addiction, it is even more important to document any instances of dangerous behavior by your ex-spouse and communicate with your legal counsel on a frequent basis to ensure the safety of you and your children.
Accept Mistakes and Celebrate Successes
Becoming a single parent is a major learning curve and resources or groups for advice can only help so much. Every person’s situation is unique and there are going to be instances in which you may struggle. While you may feel discouraged at first, know that many other single parents have been in your shoes and are working every day to make the best decisions for their children. Accept the mistakes you have made and focus on the growth that you are sure to see in the coming months and years. In addition, divorce is a huge change for your children and they may feel confused or frustrated and, in turn, lash out. Be understanding of what they are going through. Explain to them what is going on to the best of your ability but without involving them in the divorce case itself and form a routine that can help bring structure during a time of change. Finally, celebrate the successes, no matter how small, that you and your children have together. Take time to notice and appreciate the growth you have seen, and know that as the years go by, you will master the art of single parenting.
Speak With a Child Custody and Divorce Attorney at Rodier Family Law
We know that divorce can alter the world of both you and your children significantly and that it is tough to know where to turn after a recent separation. Becoming a single parent can be one of the most difficult experiences to go through, and without guidance, can feel overwhelming. At Rodier Family Law, our dedicated child custody and divorce attorneys will help you navigate the legal complexities of single parenthood, and provide an outlet to help you make the best decisions for you and your children. To learn more about how the qualified attorneys at Rodier Family Law can help you, contact our Bel Air office today.