A Monday morning quarterback is someone who is criticizes and/or states how they would have done something better or differently after the event has passed. Well, I’m stepping into the role to help guide you from defeat BEFORE you get on the field. I see and hear about so many mistakes with divorcing parents – and it is so frustrating. I’d like to take that term and flip it around so that I can show you a pass route so you can receive advice to get quality results.
I wish I knew then what I know now.
Maybe I can give you tips on a Monday that you could have used in your game YESTERDAY.
Here is a little unsolicited advice about divorce that you may have never even considered. I’ll give you three tips that you might need to think about if you are likely to divorce your spouse and you already have kids together:
1) It’s not going to be any easier
Why do I say this? If you have a spouse who loves your kid(s) just as much as you do, what makes you think that just because you two are not going to be together that your ex won’t want to be involved in the lives of your children just as much as they were prior to the divorce? It seems as if so many people feel that your offspring only belong to one party. It took two to tango and it will take two to untangle. In fact the untangling part will take about 18-25 years. The bond between parent and child will be strong even if the bond between the spouses isn’t. The long term unraveling of the union you made, has long term consequences. Many of the things you thought could be handled on your own will be much more difficult because the two of you are dealing with two separate homes with two separate life trajectories instead of one.
2) There are minefields all along the path of post-divorce life
Have you thought about the plans post-divorce? What about the plans on taking your kids to school? Have you thought about what happens if you are not available or if you are sick? What if the kids are sick and you are the only one who can take care of them or do you have the money to pay for a babysitter, instead of the fact that you could have used your spouse like when you were married or together? Who is going to make the decision to choose what high school your kids will attend? What of the kids want the ex to be in attendance at the various functions that they are a part of? What happens when your kid wants to have a birthday party a your ex’s house instead of yours? Who do you turn to when your kid wants to have a talk with their other parent about boy/girl things? What happens if your ex gets a job in another state? What happens if you ex loses their job and is unemployed for long periods of time? Your son is now 6’2″ an you are 5’1″. He towers over you and you often feel intimidated by his size. Your ex keeps him in control but you can’t. Now what? Your daughter goes through issues with puberty and you really are gun shy about discussing certain things because her mother is infinitely more qualified to discuss certain things?
These things are much better handled under one roof.
3) Your ex is so hurt by the divorce proceedings that they do everything under their power to hurt you
How do you handle someone who is hell bent on spending the next 15 years of your life hurting you? They use the court system, the police, the school and their button pushing ability to tear down your soul. Your ex becomes a total monster and is so angry that you wonder what happened to the wonderful man/woman you married? You see such a dark side that you are afraid for your children’s safety? Yes, these things can happen while you are married, but things are escalated to the nth degree after one spouse files for divorce. It gets really ugly and it can bring out the worst in people.
I have heard a number of horror stories from the people I have advised over the years. I tell people my story and they wonder how I wound up in the position I’m in. I tell people that I took the long term outlook. I saw how I wanted to be living 10 years down the road and made sure the guidelines were set in stone and were solidly outlined in my settlement before I left the marital home.
I made sure that my ex was to never leave the country with our kids (NO passport). I made sure that neither one of us could live more than 25 miles away from each other without the other’s consent. I made sure that during the divorce she could not leave the 5 boroughs of New York city. I made sure that I was to be with my kids as much as I could possibly be with them – in fact it was the same schedule that I had when we were married. I made sure that we both made decisions regarding health care, schooling, religious matters together! Details, details, details.
I hope I could shed some light on things to think about before you make the decision to file, or if you have just filed. There is a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking taking place way after the fact. I see Friday night quarterbacking from most of the people who call me for advice. By then, it is way too late. The game has long been over and the next one is right around the corner and you have no time to prepare – or you are already out of the running for post-season play.
Think this through my friends. The game plan is to win several championships, not just to win the pre-season. Your kids will thank you for being there in the long term.
Maybe I should be the coach of your team instead of the quarterback on a Monday morning. I certainly know how to win.