Should I Hold Off on Divorce Until the Kids Graduate?
I’m afraid that getting divorced will be hard on my kids. Is it better to wait until they are older and out of school to get divorced?
While we would love to give you a date and time to send in the papers, deciding when to get divorced is a personal choice. Since every family is different, the best solution for each family is different. So, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer. At O'Connor Family Law, we like to have our clients think through a few questions before determining the best path forward for them. These questions won't leave you with a yes or no answer but they might help you gain clarity on your inner motivations for each side of the argument so that you can fully understand the factors at play in your decision.
- How close are your kids to the age you’re questioning it might be better for them? (If you are thinking it would be better to wait until after high school, there’s a difference between your son being in his senior year versus your son being in third grade.)
- Is your current relationship setting a good example for your children? (Can your kids hear you arguing? You’d be surprised how they know what’s going on even if you think you’re arguing with your spouse privately! If they know it’s going on, it might be better to just move forward with a divorce rather than keep them in that environment.)
- What is it that you’re afraid your kids will struggle with? (Answering this question will also help you determine what issues are most important to you within a divorce – financial stability, remaining in your residence, the ability of the children to access both parents, etc. This can also be a good starting point for thinking about ways to help support them through such struggles.)
- Are you using this as a reason to prolong the inevitable just because you are actually afraid of the changes that come with a divorce? (If so, that’s okay because fear of the unknown future is actually very common, but it’s important to identify this in your thought patterns so you do not project your own feelings on your children.)
One of the most important things to realize is that kids can bounce back easily and a lot of how they do truly depend on how you and your spouse are able to co-parent and work together in order to do what’s best for your children. Kids who have two parents on the same page, even when their parents are separated, will generally do much better than kids whose parents cannot work together.
If you’re not sure if a divorce is right for you at this time, feel free to contact us to talk it out. In addition to our team of dedicated family law attorneys, we have an amazing high conflict relationship coach on staff that can help you work through many of these questions so you do what is best for you and your children.