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How do I prepare myself and my children for divorce?

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally difficult time for both spouses. You may have disputes about who gets the house and be forced to face other property division issues, alimony or spousal support, as well as child custody and child support issues if you have kids. It may be difficult to keep your emotions in check during these difficult times, and it is not uncommon for heated arguments to break out during the divorce process.

If you have children involved in the divorce, it is important to make every effort to make certain their living environment is as stress-free as possible. Verbal disputes and physical violence can lead to serious and life-long implications for a young impressionable child. It is important to remember that this is an entirely new situation for a child, and they cannot understand the full scope of a divorce. Add to it the fact that the child has love and affection for both parents, and this can leave him or her confused and scared.

If you're involved in a child custody dispute with your ex-spouse, you may be tempted to try to manipulate your child or children in an effort to persuade them to stay with you. Avoid this temptation. As we all know, children are honest. Often brutally honest. It is therefore essential that you let your children speak their minds.

The courts may ask your child or children to testify at a hearing to learn their perspective and opinions of each parent. Child custody decisions, as the courts stress, focus on the child's well-being, and it is important to make sure your child or children are able to give their honest opinion on the matter.

Source: FindLaw, "5 Tips for Preparing for Divorce," accessed on Oct. 13, 2015

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