About Me

Starting my new life

I have been waiting for the last twenty years to leave my husband. I have never been that well suited to him, but once I got pregnant I thought we should give it a try. Now that the kids have left home, it's obvious that our marriage is totally over. We're going to get a divorce. I'm making sure I have all of my ducks in a row, legally speaking, before I leave so that I get everything I'm entitled too. This blog is designed to give other empty nest divorcees a place to chat and share tips and advice.


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Starting my new life

Troubled Marriages | 3 Ways To Work With Your Ex To Make Christmas A Happy Time For Your Kids After A Divorce

by Cherly Green

Data from the ABS indicated that nearly 50,200 divorces were granted in 2010 in Australia. Divorce can be an especially hard time for kids because they have to suddenly adjust to a single-parent household for the time being. The holiday season compounds the problem because kids can be put in the middle of belligerent exes. Even if you've finalised your divorce through the family law courts already, there's no reason why you can't continue to work with your ex to make Christmas a happy time for your children.

Agree To Settle On Who Gets Christmas And New Year's

Your kids stand to lose the most if you and your ex cannot come to an agreement, so you must find a way to compromise on who gets Christmas and New Year's without involving them in the debate.  Kids are vulnerable and will be shattered if they have to take sides, so don't put them on the spot by asking them tough questions about which parent they would rather spend the holidays with. As a smart compromise you can substitute every year with your ex, so that you get Christmas one year and New Year's the next. If you want to protect your interests, add this mutual agreement to the custody contract to avoid going to family law courts later.

Don't Try To Outshine Your Ex With A Flurry Of Cash Or Presents

The sad reality is that divorced parents try to outshine each other by presenting children with a flurry of cash or presents over the holidays. This will create room for a tremendous amount of conflict, which will eventually trickle down to the ears of your kids, and they may eventually start dreading the onset of holiday season because of the trouble it causes. Discuss Christmas presents or cash with your ex, so that you both can co-parent in a peaceful environment with minimal fights. According to data, 22 percent of Australian kids get between $50 and $100 as cash gifts, while 20 percent get between $100 and $200. Use this as a benchmark when planning a budget for cash or presents.

Plan A Day Your Kids Will Enjoy

No matter what you plan, your kids should always be your priority. So, don't plan something just because you think you can do better than your ex. Plan a day your kids will enjoy. In most cases, kids from single-parent households simply want the gift of 'time' but this is sometimes hard for parents to see. Take the time to consider what your kids will enjoy. For instance, kids love spending time on the beach or at Christmas shows. Don't plan something you think is right just to do better than your ex.

Always work with your ex to make Christmas happy for children, even after you go through a divorce at the family law courts.