Parents sometimes question whether they need to stay together for the kids or just call it quits. The answer to this isn’t always easy, and may require some thought. Even though you know that the marriage is over, you might not need to be quick to file for divorce.
Some parents choose to continue to reside in the same home even after the marriage dissolves. Others opt to delay the divorce and still move into separate homes. Not filing the divorce petition immediately gives parents and the children time to adjust to the change before having to add the legal stresses into the situation. It might be a bit challenging emotionally, but you quickly find that it is better for everyone involved.
One of the biggest things that you can gain if you decide to wait to file is that you can prepare financially for the split. This is going to be a big transition because you go from two incomes to a single income to support the home. You need to try to save up as much money as you can so that you have a good amount when you walk away. Your ex can do the same thing, but you must ensure that you both continue to pay equitable shares of the household bills while you still live in the same home. You and your ex can also establish a divorce account to pay for the costs of the split.
Child custody planning is another area that takes some special consideration. Make sure to let the kids know that some things are changing at home, and let them know whether both parents will continue to live in the same home or if someone is moving out. Explain that both of you love them but that you are going to start spending time with them alone, so they will have time with Mom and then time with Dad. Establishing the standards for co-parenting now can help them to feel stable and it can make it easier to get the orders done when you do file eventually.
Even though you might know that everything is over with your marriage, taking the time to work through these matters before you file can help to keep the costs of the divorce under control. It can also ensure that you will be able to get the divorce quickly when you do file, which may benefit everyone involved. Michigan has a 180-day waiting period for couples with children, so take this time into account when you decide to file.