Step Children And Divorce

Steps To Help Children Cope During A Divorce

Keeping Step With Financially Safeguarding Your Children After Divorce

No doubt you hoped your existence would be ahappily ever aftera when you said, aI do.a Let’s be honest, no one pictures sitting across from a husband or wife during divorce proceedings and thinking aI never noticed those nose hairs when he flares his nostrils in anger.a or aWow! She spits when she says her aSa words. Somebody get a towel.a

Once you’ve faced the reality of the end of that particular dream, you will realize that now is the time to look forward: to believe this came along for a good reasonato teach you something, or to guide you on another path, to nudge you out of that safe cocoon and into a wilder, richer adventure. Your whole future is open, if that’s how you choose to look at it. Once again, you are free in so many ways that you weren’t when you were part of a acouple.a Take advantage of it. Have fun. Learn from your past, move on and LIVE.

When you are preparing for your new life, you’ll inevitably ask yourself some hard questions, one of which will be: Will my children and I be able to afford our future? Just as you prepared yourself for divorce by learning to pay attention to finances and ensure the security of you and your children, your goal now that the apapers are signeda should be to continue diligently focusing on your resources and be prepared to research and study what measures to take if something goes wrong.

Right After the Divorce is Final

This is the time to proceed with caution. Maybe your ex took a lot of possessions from the house and you’re tempted to go out and buy new items to replace them. Resist this urge. Take it slow and easy so you don’t get in over your head. This is a sensitive time.

Your finances, even if you’re getting child support and/or alimony, and if you have a good job, are bound to falter for a while. Issues may come up unexpectedlya”new insurance and medical costs, or you may be paying rent or mortgage for the first time. The legal fees from the divorce could be bogging you down and forcing you to tighten your budget considerably.

Keep up those itemized lists of your expenses that you started during the divorce. Here are some ideas of what you should track:

  • List where every dime is going, especially cash. Paper money has a tendency to disappear.
  • Discover where you can cut costs and where you can spend a little.
  • Know what months will be tight and which ones will be easier.
  • Budget in advance for things like auto insurance and taxes.
  • Use an accountant or a good book on finances for advice on how to set up and maintain a budget.
  • This process will take at least a year. Remember that some years will be more expensive than others; for instance, you could some day be faced with your child’s senior year in high school which would involve a class ring, rental of the cap and gown, graduation pictures, the senior breakfast, the senior prom etc. Don’t let events like this blindside you.
  • Continue to contribute to your 401K, savings account, or individual retirement plan, even if it’s only for a small amount.

Keep in mind that there will be many things that change:

  • You’ll probably buy a different amount of food at the grocery store.
  • Where you end up living could account for a huge chunk of your resources. Even a modest apartment could mean a third of your income. If you are a homeowner, not only the mortgage but also the upkeep may stretch your budget.
  • You may go to work for the first time or start a new job.
  • The money you used to spend on the holidays will likely change (you probably won’t be buying those earrings or new golf clubs for the ex).
  • If you have custody of the children, you may be paying for childcare you didn’t have as an expense before the divorce.
  • Your income will likely be different.
  • You might lose financial support from generous ex in-laws.
  • You’ll probably have to hire babysitters more often.
  • Not to be stereotypical, but if you’re a woman, you may find yourself hiring someone to do the yard work or you may now take your car to the shop. If you’re a man, you might eat out more, or hire someone to do your laundry and ironing.

Credit Issues

If you treat your financial life with care after your divorce, you may end up better off than before, both financially and psychologically. Watch out for the desire to buy unnecessary items in order to feel better. It takes time to adjust to your new financial status after a divorce, and you don’t want to ruin your credit or fall short when the bills come due. Be responsible: take care of important issues like life insurance, medical insurance, car insurance and home or renter’s insurance. Build up your money accounts, even if it’s just a little at a time, so that you have emergency padding.

Make sure your credit is now in your name only, or establish it for the first time if you need to. If your credit has suffered along with your marriage, there’s help available for that with reputable credit repair law firms. Order your credit reports and review them carefully. Be sure to report any mistakes to the credit bureaus. Most of all make certain your ex’s name stays off your credit reports. You can do this by ordering your credit reports every six months.

About the author: 21 free tips to Stop Marrying Mistakes. Lisa J. Peck invites you to enjoy and celebrate your own healthy relationship by stepping it up in every area of your life. For help on empowering yourself and recovering from divorce: Stop Marrying Mistakes


10 Responses to “Step Children And Divorce”

  1. marina says:

    Abortion, step-children & divorce?
    I’m 9 weeks pregnant, and have a 10 month old baby. My husband wants me to have an abortion. I had to have a scan yesterday (had some spotting) & my husband came too. I had hoped that he would change his mind, when he saw the screen – but he refused to look… I did, and seeing this little heartbeat flickering away, melted me.

    I’m seeing the midwife next tuesday – though hubby thinks I’m going for an abortion (I didn’t tell him this – he just assumed.. I’ve NEVER told him I wanted an abortion).

    What makes it worse is his son (21) has decided to grace us with a visit from tomorrow, for a week. I’m angry about this – as my husband never consulted me about this, and still hasn’t exactly told me (he was sitting next to me, and I overheard the phone conversation).

    This means I will not be able to talk to my husband. I bought my husband’s favourite food, and arranged a day out & picnic, so I could chat with him about it – and he told his son, who’s invitited himself along!!!

    I can’t talk to him at home, as the only place for stepson to sleep, is on the sofa, and stepson follows his dad everywhere (we get NO privacy… if his dad is in the kitchen with me HE comes in, if I go into the garden to talk to hubby HE suddenly comes too!!! He goes into the bathroom to chat with hubby when he has a bath. And as hubby goes to bed very late (whereas I have to get up early for baby), I can’t even talk to him there (and don’t WANT to about this). Hubby has even arranged to take his son out for a meal (I’m not invited).

    I wish my husband had been more sensitive. Even if I was having an abortion it would not be APPOPRIATE to have his son here, as I would be emotional, so hubby hasn’t considered my feelings at all.

    I really don’t know what to do. I feel I have to have the abortion, but seeing hubby play happy families while wanting to kill our unborn hurts… and I can’t talk to hubby about the truth.

    I’m so angry with my husband. He should have told his son that it’s not convenient this week, instead of allowing his son to dictate when he wants to come – at the last moment.

    How do I approach this? I’m thinking a divorce is inevitable?

    • Megan Villanueva says:

      Abortion is out of the question. That little baby inside you is not at fault. You can not kill it just because your husband does not want another child. That is a little person in there. Tell him that if he doesn’t like it then that is just to bad. You did not make that baby on your own, and he has no right to try to make you have an abortion. Tell him to man up and take responsiblity for his actions. What if his parents had chosen abortion? Think about the terms “Dead Baby” “Baby Killer”. Sounds awful right? So sad that he could even consider that.

  2. ♥ChocolateDrop♥ says:

    Help! Divorce and step children question!!!!???/?
    I am currently required in NYS to do a Separation Agreement in order to be able to file for divorce in about 1 year. I have an 11 yr old from a previous relationship whose father has not been in his life for the past 9 years. My husband would like physical custody of our baby,which i have agreed to ,he is an excellent father and he pleaded and begged me and we are both excellent parents so i agreed. Now, what about my son? He loves my son to death as if he were his…How do i go about allowing him to visit with his Step son.He said he can even live with him if he wants. I am confused about this situation. I want whats best for both of my children. What to do?
    The baby is 14months, son is 11 yrs old..
    We’ve already been through affair and all of that…so for your information he knows and we are choosing to be amicable. My infidelity has nothing to do with the fact that I want my children to be taken care of the best possible way.
    and in NYS you need grounds to divorce. He has grounds(Adultery) but i don’t and he says he loves me ,he will not divorce me…so i have to file legal separation andwait 1 yr…

    • jewlz j says:

      the children are obviously attached im assuming the baby is his but the older one is not( biologically).jus bcuz u separate or ur feelins are no longer a certain way does not mean that ur kids should.if u got married the kids more than likely viewed him as a long term father figure.the rite thin is 2 work out an agreement 2 see all the kids

  3. foofy2u2 says:

    Do you have to support step children in a divorce?
    This may seem like it is in the wrong section but it isn’t. I just saw online a copy of Obama’s parents (Soetoro)divorce. . 2 children were mentioned. One born in 1970 and one over 18 which would not be included in custody. But it said Soetoro had to be responsible for his childs continuing education. If Soetoro isn’t Obamas dad or didn’t adopt him then why does he have to pay for education? Wierd at best. Does Obama have a sister 10 yrs younger than him by Stanly Dunham and Soetoro? Just curious.

    • question212 says:

      He has one half brother in Kenya that lives like a pauper they say. Also heard there are some other siblings on his dad’s side.

  4. ramonatime says:

    Separating / Divorce with Step-Children Involved.?
    This is HORRIBLY emotional for me. I am considering separation frommy husband of 8 years. we have 2 children and he has a 9 year old. I’ve been in my step-daughers life her ENTIRE life as my husband was my best friend before we were married. I love her as if she were my own flesh and blood.

    However, if we separated I would have no legal right to request visitation. He has joint custody with her mother.

    Neither party would keep me from seeing her, I know, but I feel as though I’m staying in this relationship soley for her sake. How unfair it is for her to already to have a split home, and I am making it even more difficult.

    • CustodyIQ says:

      I think you have to weigh how bad your marriage is, versus how good your family is as a whole.

      Your children are likewise going to get split from the older sibling they’ve always known.

      If your marriage is tolerable – perhaps not passionate or remarkable – then consider staying in it for 9 more years.

      At that time, the oldest child will be 18 and off to college. You’ve preserved your relationship with her, your kids’ relationship with her, and protected her from managing THREE homes (most kids of divorce only have to deal with two homes).

      Good luck.

  5. Josh says:

    How many step parents keep their step children in their lives after divorce? And to what degree?
    It has been 4 months since we separated, and I still watch my step daughter 3-4 days a week(or more). I hate to say it, but its getting more difficult each passing week, and I don’t know if I can continue. I don’t know what is causing the change in feelings, but I don’t know if I can be the father I once was to her. I definitely have to say that this decision is even more difficult then accepting the divorce.

    • Their mommy! says:

      Aside from your personal feelings – this matter could get very messy legally. You’ve taken on the father role to a child that isn’t biologically yours, and many courts see that as an opportunity to call you a “presumed father” in order to slap a child support order on you, especially if the bio father isn’t paying or isn’t involved in the child’s life.

      As hard as it will be for you, I do think it’s in your best interest to cut off the personal relationship with the child. When your wife finds another man do you really think that she’s going to allow you in her life still? I doubt it.