Divorce, Single Parents, Step Parenting

Don’t Let Your Divorce Turn Ugly

When we get married, we are betting on beating the odds. Around 50% of all marriages end in divorce or separation. That number is based on the current statistics from the CDC. What the CDC doesn’t report is how many families fall apart where the parents are not married. Unmarried couples living together and raising a family are just as devastated and the breakup is just as profound.

How low can you go?

Sometimes two people sit down and decide that it is time to move on. They talk about the children’s needs. They discuss if one parent should keep the house or should it be sold. They create a financial plan and then they share a hug and walk away.  Really? If that couple exists we’ve never met them.

Reality is much different. It comes with arguing, hiding things, being vengeful, and an attitude of ripping each other apart. People become creatures that their families have never known. We are going to talk about a few of the nasty things that we have seen and that you should never do. Being vengeful will always come back on you. You may be very surprised at how far we can sink when our life and dreams are being ripped apart.

Like a thief in the night

Often a person who is seeking a divorce must slip away in the night for safety. If you are in a dangerous situation, leave any way you can. However, sometimes a spouse waits until their partner leaves for work. Then a moving van arrives and several co-workers clear out the house and they get out with everything but the kitchen sink. And, so begins the war.


We all need money to survive. Together or not, you both have to eat. The electricity has to be paid and the kids need a home. The spouse who goes to the bank and withdraws all of the money and puts it in a personal account without the knowledge of the other spouse will have to deal with the consequences and they can be harsh. That spouse is essentially telling the judge that they are childish and unreasonable. The backlash of that is losing all creditability.

Mr. or Mrs. “I’ll get you” will not stop there. In their effort to make their spouse suffer, they will have all the credit cards canceled. In this age of technology, it is not a quick process to stop direct deposits. At the very least you are leaving them temporarily stranded. 


It is not uncommon for a jilted husband or wife to do everything in their power to get their spouse fired. This can come in the form of sending an email to the company accusing the spouse of stealing from the company. Sometimes, they go much further. In one case we know of, a wife showed up at a company function and announced to the room that her husband was having an affair with a co-worker (who was also present with her husband.) It ended with a lot of yelling and eventually security took her out of the building. Of course, this caused a host of problems which ultimately cost him and the co-worker their jobs.

One has to question if she really thought that out. Not only will she have to adjust to being a single mom on one salary plus child support, but now her husband is not working, so he cannot pay.


Another group of issues that disgruntled spouses use as revenge is to turn the spouse into the IRS for leaving things off his taxes. They may call the DHS and accuse them of hurting or neglecting their child. Again, this seems like a rash jester. The government who looks at him will also look at you. This creates a big headache for everyone, and lashing out will not make the government think you are the most mature parent of the child.

What you should do

The most mature thing is to sit down together or with a mediator and determine the basics. Who will live in the family home during the divorce? Who will take the children to and from school? How much money will each of you need to survive the process? If your spouse tries or succeeds in doing any of the underhanded things listed above, tell your attorney immediately.  

Look at your life

Are you in a dead-end job and do not know how you can make it after your divorce, use the pre-divorce time to ask for a promotion or get another job.

If you do not have a solid support system, work on that. You cannot be everything to everyone. After the divorce, your friends will split with you. You will find some people to be on his side that you thought cared deeply for you.

Note: if you need a counselor, get one. You support system is there to encourage you and to let you vent. If money is too tight, try an online resource.

Have some money or a credit card handy. This does not mean empty the account. Cleaning out the bank. Put back a few dollars . Have a yard sale, be careful of who you give your information to. Take out a credit card for emergencies in your own name.

Be the better person

Making the transition is not easy for anyone. During that time, your focus should be on your children and your own health and needs. Making it as easy as possible. Is good for each of you.

One thing you can do is order copies of all important documents. This includes; birth certificates, health records, insurance information, education records, and place them in a binder so each of you will have what you may need to care for your children. Include the name of your child’s teacher and the school they attend.  

Never talk bad about your spouse where your children will hear and never ask your child for information in the other parent. Do your best to be the better person. But, if your spouse is determined to have a fight, speak to your attorney, That is what he is there for.

AH_smart divorce

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