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Divorced with kids? Here are 5 rules that you must follow

1. Never, ever, never speak negatively about the other parent. That includes not only saying negative things, but also remaining silent when the inference will be negative. You don’t have to aggressively defend the other parent, but you can be neutral or if you must be critical, comment on the choice or the behavior, not the person.

2. Don’t be selfish when presented with a request to change the schedule. Keep track of requests to change and the response (both ways). Don’t get pushed around but be certain to follow the kid’s version of the Golden Rule (treat others as you would like to be treated) and not the aggressive businessperson’s version (he who has the gold makes the rules).

3. Be aware of what the court order about medical and like expenses that are not covered by or reimbursed by insurance. If you are to pay the first $250 in such expenses, when you hit $200 by April, let the other parent know that. When you have met your obligation, send copies of the expenses and proof of payment to the other parent for the first $250 along with the expenses for which you are seeking reimbursement.

4. When the other parent owes you money, send a request with documentation supporting the request to the other parent some way other than handing an envelope to your child to deliver. If you are the one that owes money, pay it promptly. If you can’t pay the entire amount, pay what you can, commit to when you will pay the rest and stick to it.

5. Maintain balance in your life. It’s okay to have a babysitter once in a while, just not all of the time. You can make your children a priority, but don’t make them your life. Learn how to be comfortable being alone with yourself.