Stamford Family Law Blog

Shared parenting can be an emotional roller-coaster

Sharing parenting time with your ex may not always be simple. Even when the agreement is simple in theory -- you get 50% of the time with the kids and so does your ex, for instance -- it still becomes an emotional roller-coaster.

That's exactly the type of parenting-time division one woman had, and she said it could be a bit conflicting to deal with. Even after she had been doing it for years, she still struggled with it.

Marriage after 32 could end in divorce

Many people who get married later in life -- in their 40s or 50s, for instance -- have to deal with a lot more complications if they get divorced. They have significant financial assets. They have retirement accounts. They own businesses. They have investments. They own homes, cars, boats and vacation cottages.

Divorce is not just about splitting up financial assets, but there's no doubt that it's a big part of the process. The more you have, the harder this becomes.

You can bring up a prenuptial agreement before getting engaged

People often worry about having the prenuptial agreement conversation because they fear that the person they're engaged to is going to be angry or hurt. Are they basically telling their partner that they don't think the marriage is going to last?

The key thing to remember is that a prenup is just a precaution. It does not mean you think that the marriage will end in divorce. It just means that, if something does happen, you want to be ready for it from a legal standpoint.

One reason happy couples split up

Not all couples who get divorced are inherently unhappy. Not all of them argue constantly. Abuse isn't always an issue. From the outside, they appear to be happy and well-adjusted, and most of their friends and family members would be shocked to hear that they're thinking about divorce.

These divorces do happen for many reasons, but let's take a look at one specific one: poor communication tactics. Studies have found that those who get divorced tend to be worse at communication than those who stay together.

The key to co-parenting: Shared intent and effort

Co-parenting, or working with your ex to parent your children after a divorce, can get very complicated. The two of you no longer live together and you may not be on good terms. All the same, you need to work together, communicate and coordinate your lives. Doing so successfully is in your children's best interests, and it's a necessity if you have court-ordered joint custody.

The key to doing this well, experts often say, lies in a shared experience. You need to have a shared intent with your ex: The intent to give your children the best possible life and to be good parents after the divorce. You also need to have shared effort, meaning you will work together to make things easier, just like parents who are still married.

Do second marriages last longer?

You get married just after college. It doesn't work. Five years later, you get divorced. Another five years go by, and you get married for a second time.

As you approach the wedding day, you have friends and family members tell you things like "The second time's a charm." They tell you that you clearly learned from the mistakes of your first marriage, so this one is bound to last. You're not going to make those same mistakes again. You're older and wiser, and that's only going to help you.

Hidden assets: Uncovering what your spouse is hiding

Even before you file for divorce, you start worrying about hidden assets. Your spouse never talks to you about money. There always seems to be plenty of it to go around, but you never see any of it. You don't know where it goes, when it comes in or how much your family even has. When people ask, you just shrug, and they laugh it off as though that must be the greatest luxury.

You did enjoy it during your marriage. You never had to worry about anything. But now that you're going to split up, you worry that you will definitely not get what you deserve because you don't even know what was there to begin with. Is your spouse simply going to hide assets, lie in court and then keep what they want for themselves?

Can your prenup protect you from debt?

People often think of prenuptial agreements as a way to protect their assets. They do not want to lose money to a spouse if they get divorced. They see marriage for the legal contract that it is, and they are wary of the financial ramifications of ending that contract. However, can you also use it to help you avoid extra debt?

For instance, maybe your future spouse is planning to go to medical school. You both just graduated from undergrad and decided to get married. For you, that's the end of student loans; you plan to get a job and start your career.

Is a ‘birdnesting’ parenting arrangement worth trying?

“Birdnesting” is a relatively new type of co-parenting arrangement that does not involve children bouncing back and forth between two houses. Instead, parents are the ones to travel between homes.

If you are a parent going through divorce, you might consider trying a birdnesting arrangement. However, it can be helpful to try to anticipate potential problems with this type of arrangement, so you and your ex-spouse can take steps to avoid unnecessary challenges.

What can divorce teach you about life?

No matter what happens in life, you just need to focus on the positive to find it. There is almost always something you can learn or some way that the events in your life can shape you.

This is even true with divorce. Maybe your spouse filed for divorce, and you did not necessarily want the marriage to end. You can't stop it from ending anyway, though. So, what can you learn?


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