Divorce is usually a highly stressful event for everyone involved. Studies have indicated that the children are typically the most affected party in a separation. Therefore, if you are planning a divorce, you should prioritize the well-being of the children. One of the areas that you should focus on is keeping your kids healthy after the divorce. You want to ensure that they can access the same high-quality healthcare they did before the divorce. Here is a divorce management guide to keeping your children healthy.
Find the Best Way to Parent
While going through a separation, it’s vital that you sit down with your partner and try to find the best way to parent your kids after the divorce. As the kids belong to both of you, it would be wise to figure out a way to share parental responsibility by developing a co-parenting arrangement. Given your history as a married couple, such an arrangement can be complicated at the start, but you can still pull it off. However, you need to embrace the mantra of sharing parental responsibility: ‘be consistent, kind, and respectful.’
You need to have a talk and come up with ground rules on how you will share parental responsibility. Discuss who is in charge of what duties and what duties are shared. One of the parental duties that should be shared is taking care of the children’s health. Having both parents share healthcare responsibilities increases the chances that the children will be able to get the best healthcare possible despite the divorce. Here are some tips to help you successfully pull off sharing parental responsibilities with your partner.
- Always keep in mind that you love your children more than you dislike the other parent
- Use tech tools like Talking Parents and Our Family Wizard to communicate more effectively with the other parent and avoid issues that might arise from communication breakdowns
- Hold short (less than 30 mins) ‘parental team meetings monthly to promote better communication and parentage between the two of you
- Accept that the other parent is still your child’s parent
- Visit a therapist specializing in ex-partners sharing parental responsibility
- Come up with a shared parenting calendar to stay organized
- Avoid using the children as the intermediary
- Keep in mind that you don’t have to be on the same page about everything; find a compromise
Hire an Attorney
It’s a misconception that you only need a family attorney if matters relating to your separation must be determined by a court of law. Even when you are going through an amicable split that involves mediation and negotiations, it’s vital that you hire a family law practitioner for your divorce management. When hiring a family attorney, go for one with experience in the field. They would have handled many such cases before, and they will have better negotiation skills. Due to their experience, they will also have an easier time finding loopholes that will result in a favorable outcome for you, your kids, and your kids’ health during divorce mediation. Keep in mind that you are more likely to misrepresent or miss some facts without appropriate legal representation, hurting your case.
If you find yourself in a bitter divorce that ends up in court, having experienced family lawyers will be handy. Firstly, they have an in-depth understanding of family law. Moreover, they have expert knowledge of the legal proceedings you will have to go through, which will be an advantage. In addition to this, judges are usually busy and don’t like when their time is wasted. A family attorney will ensure that everything about your case is handled speedily, which let’s remain on the good side of the judge throughout the whole affair. This can play a role in helping you end up with a favorable ruling. Keep in mind that the courts usually prioritize the well-being of the children during a divorce case. You shouldn’t worry much about the cost of hiring a family attorney, as many excellent family legal practitioners charge an affordable rate.
Get Medical Coverage
While working on your divorce, you and your soon-to-be ex-partner should also be working on getting medical coverage for your kids as part of your divorce management. It would be best if you came this a joint venture; however, if your partner is unwilling, you should do it and raise the matter during separation negotiations or the divorce case. There are two primary medical coverage options for children, coverage through the parent’s plan and child-only coverage.
As the name suggests, coverage through the parent’s plan is where the child gets medical coverage under their parent’s medical insurance plan. The medical insurance plan can be offered to the parent as part of their employee benefits at work or a private plan. The Affordable Care Act demands that companies with more than 50 employees should provide health insurance to at least 95% of their staff and their kids. You should know that most coverages through parent’s plan health insurance policies stop covering the children once they get to 26 years.
You can also opt to take for your kids a child-only health insurance coverage in your divorce management. There are numerous options available like Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Affordable Care Act (ACA), private health insurance, and private short-term health insurance. Medicaid is the cheapest option, and it provides comprehensive medical coverage for the child. However, it’s only accessible to parents in the lowest income bracket. CHIP is somewhat similar to Medicaid and covers children up to 19 years old. Unless necessary, you should try to avoid private short-term health insurance for your child, although it might seem cheap. This is because most of them don’t cover preexisting conditions.
As a parent who is over 65 years, being in good health to raise your kid after a divorce is essential. This is why you should consider getting Medicare health insurance for yourself. Medicare eligibility is also open to younger people undergoing dialysis treatment and those living with disabilities.
Find a Good Care Provider
Now that you have settled matters relating to medical coverage for your children, it’s time to find a good care provider who will keep tabs on their health. It’s vital that you pick a physician that you trust and like. Depending on your kids’ age, you would have to choose either a pediatrician or a general physician.
If you already had family doctors who were also taking care of your children’s health before the divorce, you should stick with them. Since they have been treating the kids for some time before the divorce, they better understand their health profile. This knowledge can be essential in identifying other significant ailments and subjecting them to treatment early in the future. It’s a medical fact that early intervention of some diseases can be the difference between life and death. During your divorce management, please speak with your soon-to-be ex-partner on how the children can keep seeing the same family physician they have been seeing so far.
Infancy and early childhood are the riskiest periods in a child’s life. If you have a child in the two age groups, you should look for a pediatrician as they specialize in child healthcare. Try to find an experienced pediatrician close to where you and your children live.
Find a Dentist
During the stressful divorce period and the adjustment period after the separation, one of the aspects of the children’s health that suffers to most is oral health. As parents focus on separating from each other and starting new lives, they tend to focus less on how their children are taking care of their oral health. Statistics from the CDC indicate that about 23% of children aged 2 to 5 years have cavities in their primary teeth, while nearly 62% of children aged 12 to 19 years have had cavities in their permanent teeth.
Therefore, as you go on with your divorce management, prioritize finding a local dentist in your locality who will look after your kids’ oral health. Keep in mind that you must take your children to regular dental checkups so that any oral health issues can be identified early and get treated. The money you are bound to spend on frequent dental checkups is far less than what you would have to pay to deal with a dental problem that has progressed. Moreover, you will be saving your kids from dealing with the pain of an aching tooth. As you seek dental care, you should also be encouraging your kids to observe practices that will promote their dental health, like brushing their teeth twice a day.
Choose the Right Childcare
During your divorce management, choosing the right childcare for your children is one of those decisions that is crucial that you make together with the other parent. This is because the child care that your kids receive will directly impact their lives every day, their growth, and their future. Providing your kids with excellent childcare from early in their life would help mold them into outstanding people. If you have kids in their early childhood, you should be asking yourself what’s the best daycare and preschool near me?
Here are some tips to help you settle for the best daycare and preschool for your kids amidst your divorce management;
When you visit the daycare or the preschool where you want to enroll your children, look down to check how the staff takes care of and handles the children. Ideally, a caregiver and the kids should be on the floor playing. If you see that the facility doesn’t offer such close attention to the children, look for another one.
While visiting the facility, make sure that you check their policy. Ask for clarifications where necessary so that you gain a better understanding of their services. Check how they use the TV for the children, how they use scolding and time-outs, and their sick-child policy.
Some daycare and preschools will offer a staged tour when you book an appointment and show up to check their facility. This is why you should make time and do an impromptu visit to find out the reality. If there is a considerable disparity between what you saw during your first visit and your impromptu visit, that’s a red flag.
Prepare for Your Taxes
You should know that your marital status impacts your tax obligations. However, during your divorce management, you might be struggling with whether you are single or married in the eyes of the IRS. According to the IRS, you are single if you are done signing and filing your divorce papers by midnight on December 31 of that financial year. If you sign and file your divorce papers on January 1, you will be married for that whole year, despite being divorced for almost the entire year.
When it comes to child tax credit after a divorce, the IRS stipulates that only one parent can claim dependents during any given tax year if you have one child. This means that only one parent can enjoy the tax credits in a single financial year. However, if you have an even number of children, like four, you and the other parent can share dependents, and each of you will receive tax credits for two children. On the other hand, if you have an odd number of children, say three, one of the children will be treated as an only child, and the same rules for one child apply. Numerous tax websites dive deep into the intricacies of divorce and tax that you should check out.
Get Your Priorities Straight When Pursuing a Divorce
Many divorcing parents get their priorities wrong when they are handling their separation. They put themselves first and create a hostile family environment. This usually has a massive negative effect on the well-being and health of the children. It’s vital that you get your priorities straight in divorce management and the children’s welfare should be put first.