Ask Debra Anything

You asked and Debra answered! We gathered an array of great questions from you on everything from divorce to child custody for her to answer live on Facebook. Below we share the questions asked and Debra’s abbreviated answer! For the full Q&A session watch the video here, and for more information on any personal support and guidance as you navigate divorce and/or co-parenting, our team of Certified Divorce Specialist™ can help. Contact us today to learn more or for a free consultation.

Can you share a bit about how to handle email badgering from an ex-spouse once the divorce is finalized? it seems like the gray area of treating each other with respect is loose when it comes to the law but can be so damaging to both co-parenting relationships and of course kids.

There can be agreements that can be put in place by courts such as co-parenting, co-separation, etc. Check out Bill Eddy’s books on high-conflict communications.

Can you share some reasons a court would get involved if there was neglect? In some cases like kids having a fight or parenting preferences, my ex has threatened to call her lawyer, when it is just the way I parent vs. her. Can you advise on how we should be handling these mini fights?

Neglect, in legal world terms usually means “child neglect” and would involve CPS or courts. For mini fights, you should try to shield this from children. You should also look for a good co-parenting coach. 

Is there any reason to change your divorce based on living in a new state or does your divorce transfer if you are in a new state?

You would need to register with the new state you are in.

What should I expect during my first session of mediation?

Mediation is not always mandatory, though it is a great option for dispute resolution. Come in with realistic expectations, no aggression in body language and tone of voice.

Guidelines of cohabitation? What draws the line?

Set expectations and guidelines, from the mundane of who’s putting the cap on the toothpaste to finance and blending bank accounts. Do’s and don’ts vary by state.

Beginning the steps of filing for divorce. What should I expect and how long does this process normally take?

It depends. Where you live, urban, rural, suburban. What state you live in. Depends on how much you fight. Could be as little as 6 months to many years. Consider mediation.

What should I do if I have been served papers for divorce?

Note date, time, place, and person of being served the papers. In some states, there are unique laws in the service (in New York, on Sundays you can’t serve papers). Could render service invalid.

Don’t delay. Find an attorney ASAP, don’t want to go into default. The amount of time varies by state and whether service in-state and out-of-state.

Do I HAVE to sign a postnup if my husband presents me with one?

Agreements require agreements. It takes two to tango. Can put you in a tricky spot depending on the circumstances, keep an open mind, and get advice.

If in the middle of filing for divorce with kids still living at home, what’s the best thing to do with them during this time?

Question for therapist or divorce coach. Best to ask for your specific situation. Reassure the kids that they are loved and will always be loved. They are allowed to be upset and angry. Don’t indicate that one parent is to be to blame. 

Is there a way to have a parenting plan set up where you do not have to be in contact with the ex?

Yes! By law, there are stipulations you can put in place but can be awkward and time-consuming. Parallel parenting, set up a specific parenting plan where each week, day, and holiday is clearly written out. Also, when pick-up and drop-off are. Co-parenting apps: Our Parenting Wizard & 2 Houses. Messaging, shared calendar, doctors documents, tone indicator “Hey, asshole” will flag messaging, etc.

Also, co-parent coaching!

​Is it possible to get compensatory damages for emotional anguish as a result of spouse cheating?

Yes, it’s available in some states. It’s a pension against the person the spouse cheated with. 

I want to get divorced but we have two young children and I think we should stick it out for the children—what are your thoughts on this?

Think, would I be happy if my child were in the relationship I am in?

  1. I love happy relations. If there is a willingness for both parties, go to a great marriage counselor or separate life coaches. Could work! 
  2. If you know the marriage is dead, or the spouse won’t put in the work, may not be best.

How do you get your attorney to move your case forward? Or at what point do you start over with a new attorney?

Most importantly, any settlement is for you to accept or reject. If your attorney isn’t serving you it’s fair to have an honest conversation. Could not be in their control.

Switching attorneys can be hard and high cost. Double review of your case, some may not accept.

If you file for a formal separation with your spouse, do you have to follow through to divorce or can you take the time to figure out if you want to stay together or end the relationship?

Absolutely yes! Taking time is a great way to clarify or resolve. There is no requirement to file or not.

Do you have the name of a co-parent coach that outside agencies can refer parents to?

Debra will be one soon! We have a few suggestions we can send personally.

%d bloggers like this: