TRY TO STAY OUT OF COURT
CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES WISELY
USE FREE ONLINE TOOLS TO TALK
DON'T CONFUSE MEDIATION WITH AN AGREEMENT
USE ONLINE TOOLS TO ORGANIZE
AVOID DRAMA, AND CONSIDER THERAPY
"Some people continue with a divorce even though they may still be in love with the person because they want to have some type of contact. Negative contact to some people is as good as positive contact," says Fischer. This is why therapy is crucial at the beginning stages of divorce — something California counselor Thomas Carouso believes is helpful to "get out of the drama" that comes from both people involved feeling like a victim. "Remember that you are a family, and you're not at war," Carouso says.
DON'T LET YOUR CHILD BECOME THE VICTIM
SHOW YOUR CHILDREN LOVE
DON'T LIE TO KIDS — COMMUNICATE …
… BUT TAKE THE HIGH ROAD
… AND DON'T OVERSHARE
DON'T MAKE CHILDREN CHOOSE
STAY IN TOUCH EVEN IF YOU'RE FAR AWAY
Sometimes parents have to move, either for work or military commitments or other reasons, and it's hard on everyone — including when children have to travel to another state, and especially if they're unaccompanied minors. Use programs such as Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts to keep in touch between visits.
TAKE A CO-PARENTING CLASSES
PREPARE TO PAY FOR COLLEGE
Something else that adds stress to a divorce: When one household becomes two, expenses double, shrinking the money that might be saved for a child's eventual college expenses. The direct costs of a divorce can take a toll too. "College sometimes has to take a backseat to the family's expenses," Nicole Sodoma, a family law attorney, told CNBC. Families should explore setting up a 529 plan, where money accumulates tax-free and stays that way if it's withdrawn for valid education expenses. Another option is to create a trust for education, where the money can't be taken out otherwise. "You can make contributions every year so you can build a solid future for the children," Fischer says.