What Do You Mean You Restructure Families? I Want A Divorce.

What does it mean to restructure your family in your Maryland divorce? There is so much negative talk around divorce and separation. We’re all guilty of it. But sometimes divorce is the only option to find your way to a better life and sometimes divorce is not your choice, but a reality you must accept. But not every connotation of divorce and family has to be bad – especially where children are involved.


verb (ˌ)rē-ˈstrək-chər

: to change the basic organization or structure of (something)

When you create two households from one, you don’t dissolve your family – just ask your kids – you change its organization. Although the romantic relationship between you and your spouse may be done, you are no less a mom or dad because you live in an apartment down the road or a house across the country. Your family is no less genuine for its new structure.

Whether you do it well or not, you and your ex will continue to parent your children together. The best co-parenting relationships allow divorced parents to provide the stability, security, and common child-related goals that an open line of communication can provide. If a continuing co-parenting relationship is important to you, you’ll want your attorneys to craft an agreement that puts your co-parenting philosophy at the heart of it.

Of course, not every ex-couple has the wherewithal to parent this way. Where exes aren’t able to share details or reinforce rules across two households (and there are numerous reasons for this including personality disorders, a history of violence, or an unmotivated parent), you may need to come to terms with “parallel” parenting; that is, you may have to parent completely separately in your household without any common rules or philosophies. If you are not going to be able to co-parent after divorce and you know that at the start or you develop that resolve as you separate, you want to work with attorneys who can capture strategies for this parenting style within an agreement for you and your child(ren).

Whatever your parenting relationship, your family will not be static. Both you and your ex will likely re-partner. Your family tree may grow with the addition of step-parents, step-siblings, or half-siblings. And, of course, all these folks bring the joys and tribulations of extended family. You (and your children) will need to make room for the restructured and growing family and the love that comes with it.

And you’ll need to teach your children both how to cope with two houses (do you really need two of everything? Is there a way to make sure the math text book comes back and forth between the households?) and how to ask for what they need to navigate two households. If your ex is not as organized as you, your child(ren) may need help developing some strategies for being independent organizers when not with you. Or if you are less organized, you may need some strategies of your own for staying on top of the school work, laundry, and chores.

Divorce doesn’t dissolve a family; it restructures it. We are happy to help you as visualize the possibilities for your own family.

© McCabe Russell, PA 2014