Divorce is never easy, but it can be even more difficult if you and your spouse aren’t on the same page about fundamental issues. That’s why it’s important to have “the talk” before you go through with a divorce: so that both of you are well-informed about what to expect from one another (and what not to expect), and so that your family’s future is protected as much as possible during this difficult time. Here are five crucial conversations every couple should have before they call it quits:
Discussing finances is a key part of the divorce process. It may not be the most fun conversation on your list, but it will help you both come to a mutual agreement that works best for your family.
Avoid conflict by discussing finances early in the process and coming up with an arrangement that works for everyone involved.
TALKING TO KIDS.
The most difficult conversations to have are with children, especially when they’re younger. They will be confused, angry and sad—and it’s your job as a parent to help them through this time.
To start off on the right foot, remember that you need to respect their feelings even if they differ from yours. They may not understand why you want out of your marriage or who the new person in your life is going to be. And given how much they love both parents, they’ll feel very mixed emotions about all of these changes.
DEALING WITH THE IN-LAWS.
This is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a divorcing couple. You can’t control how others will react to the news, but you can control how you react to them.
If your in-laws are still supportive and helpful, consider having an open dialogue with them about your divorce and what it means for future family gatherings. Discussing these things now will make it easier when they do occur—and give them plenty of time to prepare if they need help from friends and family members like your parents or siblings. Don’t forget: there will be times when everyone needs support! If possible, plan these visits with people who have similar interests so everyone has fun together. And don’t forget about yourself either—make sure that each person gets some quality time alone with their spouse or significant other too!
ADDRESSING RELIGIOUS ISSUES.
Religion is a very personal thing. It can be a big part of your life, and it often plays an important role in the lives of others around you. You may want to share your religious beliefs with your children and extended family members, but they might not feel the same way.
You need to discuss whether you’re going to raise your kids with a certain religion and how much emphasis will be placed on it as they grow up. If you’ve decided that one parent should be the main caretaker, that person could take over religious duties—or both parents could teach their own values separately at home.
ADDRESSING CAREER AND RETIREMENT PLANS.
It’s critical to address all of these issues before the divorce is finalized, as post-divorce changes can be costly and time-consuming.
- Retirement benefits. Review your retirement accounts, pensions, and Social Security information to make sure you understand what you’re entitled to and how it will impact your current finances.
- Health insurance coverage. If you have family health insurance through your spouse’s employer or through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) after leaving their job, you may need additional coverage until you can get new individual plans on the open market—and some plans won’t cover pre-existing conditions for six months or longer!
- Family leave policies. Determine whether there are any unpaid leaves available to either party under their existing policies; if so, take advantage of them while they last! Also assess what options there are for paid parental leave in both countries; some countries offer more generous options than others do when it comes this benefit type but even those vary widely based on different factors like income level etcetera so be sure that each person knows exactly how much time off they’ve got left before being forced back into work (or worse yet not having any income at all).
Protecting yourself and your family is crucial during a divorce.
Protecting yourself and your family is crucial during a divorce. You will need to have a series of difficult conversations with people beyond just your spouse, divorce attorney, family and friends. These include:
- Your financial advisor (if you’re getting divorced in an equitable distribution state)
- The other parent of your children (if you have kids together)
Divorce is a difficult experience for everyone involved. It can be an emotional roller coaster for couples who have been together for years and children who have grown up in the same household with their parents. Divorcing parents are often so busy with their own emotions that they let things slip by them that they should have addressed while they still had time. By having these conversations early on, you will have peace of mind knowing that everything has been discussed thoroughly before finalizing any divorce settlement or custody agreement.