2023 Separation Problems Page

DIVORCE FACT    The following contribute to a higher risk for divorce: low income, low education level, no religion, no children, being a child with divorced parents and marrying at a young age.

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Coping with Separation

Separation is a difficult time in anyone's life.  It's not easy to know where to turn when you have questions related to your separation and potential divorce.  We have answered some common questions below that may help with your own situation.  Also, check out our editorial selected book list related to separation and divorce.  

My spouse and I can not agree on separation terms.

You can ask your attorney(s) for a family court mediator or hire one on your own to assist you and your spouse in developing terms you both can agree upon. They are neutral professionals who possess the skills and objectivity necessary to work with you and your spouse to develop a fair separation agreement. It usually costs less than having your attorneys battle it out in court which would be one of the alternatives to mediation.  Ask your attorney to explain the various options for divorce in your state.  In addition to mediation most states offer numerous types of divorce that can provide an alternative to litigation.  See the most common types of divorce on our legal process page.

My former spouse is bad mouthing me to my children.

Separation and divorce are very difficult events for the entire family.  It's more difficult when one or both parents say negative things about one another or in front of the children to others.

It's common for children to feel as if the role of parent and child is reversed.  Children may think their feelings are disregarded and they may feel powerless to change what is happening.  

It's difficult to respond amicably when your child brings your spouse's bad remarks to your attention. However, you'll feel better by taking the high-road in this situation and expelling your frustration in a healthy manner (which may include waiting until you are alone and screaming at the top of your lungs, crying or running until your legs feel like jelly). 

Until then, explain to your children that their mom or dad is extremely hurt and is saying things he/she probably doesn't really mean to say to them.  Let them know that even though he/she feels that way right now, that both of you still love him/her a great deal and that you will both try harder to show it.

If you feel your spouses comments are changing your child's feeling about you or behavior; allow some time to pass while continuing to stay positive with your child.  Let him/her talk about your separation and feelings.  Your children are smart and will be able to eventually see what is happening.  

Feel free to bring in a counselor or family therapist to help your child express his/her feelings to someone other than a parent.  Tell your spouse how your child feels and ask him/her to discontinue the banter for your child's well being.

I am extremely hurt and can't help but make jabs about my former spouse in front of my child.

Forgive yourself and try harder.  You have a right to be angry, hurt, resentful and bitter.  Your life, family and marriage is being ripped apart and it's not likely something you expected when you were planning your family.  You didn't read a book on "What to Expect When You're Expecting a Divorce After Having Children".  

We aren't perfect beings or parents, we make mistakes, but your children are more important than your anger for your soon-to-be ex.  Find a new outlet for all your pain so that you can be the positive role model for your children.  They need you now more than ever and are in the middle of this very difficult time.  They have no choice in your new life changes and they likely feel their life is being ripped apart too.  

My children are acting unusual and making bad choices since our separation.

Children disregard rules and demonstrate bad behavior as a response to changes such as divorce and separation.  This will make your parenting even more challenging.  However, children constantly go though changes as a result of other things that are happening in their life as well.  Its easy to be totally consumed with your separation and assume that is why your children are misbehaving.  Plug back into their life.  Ask questions and get them talking about why they are getting into trouble.

Do not change your parenting style out of guilt over what is currently happening regarding the separation.  Stay consistent and remind each child about the consequences to their actions and behavior.  Employ positive reinforcement for good behavior and get engaged in hobbies and activities that will provide a stronger bond.



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