The definition of a divorce is a legal dissolution of a marriage. That’s what it means on paper or in the dictionary, but what does it mean to the people who are getting divorce? As studies have shown, the definition isn’t the same as it used to be 20 years ago. You can research divorce on websites like www.annuttolawoffice.com where you’ll find information about divorce lawyers and the divorce process. However, every divorce is going to be different, and what works for you may not work for your neighbor. Therefore, understanding the way divorce has changed may make it easier to custom design your divorce.
Twenty Years Ago
While there is still a stigma that follows divorce, and studies show that most people are embarrassed to say they are going through a divorce, it’s not as bad as it was 20 years ago. Back then, a divorce could black ball you on the dating market.
Divorce also meant a total separation. One partner would have to move out while the other one kept the house. Or, both would move out and the house would be sold and the profit divided. The children usually went with the mother, unless she was proven unfit and then the father was granted custody. The stereotype divorce was often the case, with the adults using the courts as a battle ground and the children as bargaining chips. In these cases, the children were the victims. Of course, there were civil divorces, even back then, but the idea of total separation was the norm.
Perhaps it’s because the children who were used as pawns understood what that can do to a child that the new divorce has taken root. Or, perhaps the economy is truly to blame for this new divorce paradigm, as most people can’t afford rent and child support. Instead of complete separation, there is a blending of a new family and old situations taking place.
In some cases, you’ll find that neither spouse moves out, or that sleepovers (on the couch of course) are the norm. The idea is that the parents, though unable to be married, can still work together as a team to raise the children. Fathers don’t want to be cut out of their children’s lives and mothers don’t want to take on the whole load of a single parent. It’s created a nice blend of mixed families that put the children ahead of everything else.
How does this new paradigm affect the children? Some kids seem to take everything in stride. They feel well cared for, loved, and like they aren’t missing out on much because both parents are still in the house. They don’t go through the “I miss daddy” phase because daddy doesn’t leave. This saves them the painful separation or abandonment issues that seem to pop up later in life.
However, some children may still find it hard to adjust to as mom and dad begin dating others and bringing home new additions to the family. Once one parent remarries, the living arrangements have to be adjusted and the child can feel a huge sense of displacement that, instead of blaming it on the parents, they blame it on the step-parent as they appear to be the trigger for the change.
If you are going to divorce and still live with your ex, then you’ll want to lay some ground rules. Talk to an attorney (you can find one at www.annuttolawoffice.com) about what you can and cannot specify in a divorce document.