Our kids think the divorce is my fault, but we actually broke up because my wife was having an affair. What should I tell my children?
You should both sit down with your children and tell them that you and their mom just didn’t get along, or that you don’t love each other as husband and wife anymore. Make sure to reassure your kids that the breakdown of your marriage wasn¹t their fault, and that even though you and their mom have chosen to live apart, it doesn’t mean either of you loves them any less. You both have an obligation to protect your children and, if necessary, seek professional counseling for them.
My kids spend alternate weekends with their father, and they come back with stories of how great he is and how much fun they have with him. I can’t afford the trips to Disneyland, and I hate being the one stuck with all the discipline and none of the fun. Any suggestions?
Dear No Fun,
There is always one parent who is the “bad guy”. I was and still am the bad guy: I do my best to guide and support my children, but I also discipline them when necessary. Then they are off to my ex who cannot say “no” to them. Many fathers feel guilty about leaving home and breaking up their families, and they tend to overcompensate by giving their kids lots of “treats” and little discipline. Some non-custodial parents also say they don’t want to “ruin” the short time they have with their kids by punishing them. Kids take separation or divorce very hard, but spoiling them isn’t the answer. Keep doing what you have been doing as a concerned and loving mom! In the end, your children will thank and cherish you for caring enough to provide structure and discipline in their lives.
I want a divorce, but I’m worried that my standard of living will decrease drastically. Can I protect myself against this?
Collect a copy of each month’s bank statements, and get a copy of last year’s income-tax statement, which should show all your expenses. Depending on your situation, your disposable income may well decrease — and this means you’ll have to make smart choices about how to spend the money you do have. If you know how much is there to divide and you plan ahead, your life may not change so dramatically. An accountant or financial planner can help you set budgets and gain clarity about your financial future.
I think I should get a pre-nuptial agreement — how do I bring the subject up with my fiancee without upsetting her?