I recently spoke with a well-known real estate appraiser, in the metropolitan Detroit area, about home appraisals. During the conversation, we got to talking about his divorce from his first wife. He had met his wife when they were both 10 years old. They were married for 25 years and had 4 children together. After years of marriage, the couple grew apart and decided to call it quits. How do you end a marriage that has lasted a quarter of a century with a woman you met when you had just hit double digits?
Well, my friend told me that he and his wife began their settlement discussions with just one piece of paper. On the top of the paper they listed the names of their 4 children in big, bold letters. After placing their 4 sons’ names at the top of their list, they began to craft their settlement. They had one rule that they agreed would control every decision they made in their case. That one rule was that every decision would be controlled by what is best for the children. A pretty great way to settle your case, right?
You brought children into this world. They are innocent bystanders of your divorce. Don’t make them the victims of your separation, as well. I know the one thing you will always have in common with him or her is your mutual love for your children. Let that love guide your decision-making. This is a point that all divorcing parents can come together on! If you take a “child-centric” approach to your settlement negotiations, the decisions that flow from it will most certainly be in your child’s best interest. This approach may lay the groundwork for you and your ex to create a new family arrangement that benefits everyone.