There is so much that goes into shifting a married relationship into a courteous one, way before the ink dries on the Divorce Decree. Most divorcing couples do not realize the amount of work that goes into this phase, when it has nothing to do with dividing assets and deciding on the final parenting plan. The more couples prepare, the better they will weather the actual transition. One such task is the day-to-day realities of life; how to untangle the finances (cancel monthly subscriptions, auto-drafts, split bills, discuss updating powers of attorneys, wills, etc.) and test driving new parenting schedules.
It is these thoughts and more that are always brought up in my initial consults and most certainly in my first zoom mediation session with these couples.
Co-parenting is a big one. How to deal with the interim living situation, allowing each parent to have their time with the children especially when there is not enough money to afford another residence (Stay tuned for a future blog post on how to deal with this issue).
Many couples I work with choose to maintain relationships with friends and relatives, spend holidays together, and proceed as usual during this time period. Getting a healthy, temporary agreement in place can also be thought of as a “trial run” and can help decide the final agreement. Often, this is where an opportunity comes up to heal the relationship as couples are left to collaborate and navigate these challenges amidst the COVID pandemic.
Unfortunately, there can’t be one simple checklist that fits all situations. Feel free to email me your thoughts, experiences and the prevalent issues/challenges you may face. I am always happy to consult privately any matters you have questions concerning.