As 2016 begins, many of us come up with resolutions for the coming year. Some people hope to exercise more, spend more time as a family or plan a vacation. For families who have divorced, the new year often symbolizes a new beginning. It is a time to establish a new norm.
As a collaborative attorney, I often help guide families through divorce in respectful and supportive ways. I often hear from clients that they have goals and resolutions for a new year. Here are three common resolutions for families of divorce and ways all families can incorporate these values in their lives:
- Establish financial independence and security. Entering a new year is a time when finances are now truly separate – with no tax connections. Be mindful of what you spend. Track your expenses and see how they match up against your projected budgets and income. Get a financial planner or, on your own, map out your financial goals for the year, including personal savings, retirement, and investment management.
- Embrace co-parenting. Children thrive with routine and care. They love to be listened to and enjoy one-on-one time with both parents. They also sense stress and tension. As you establish routines and the children spend time with both parents, remember to treat the other parent with compassion as well. Avoid fighting in front of the children and support the time that they spend in both homes. Also learn to enjoy your off-duty time. When you don’t have parenting duties can be a great time to focus on yourself and prepare for your next parenting day.
- Take care of yourself. As parents, workers, and functioning members in society, we often spend our tie focused on others. We take care of the children and our work obligations, but we often forget our own self-care. Use the new year to establish work-out routines or start exploring a new hobby. It is never too late to start improving yourself and the new year is a perfect time to make that effort.