4 Tips For Co-Parenting After A High-Net-Worth Divorce
Individuals who have a high-net-worth or who are high-income-earners deal with a unique set of challenges in both their marriage and the process of ending it. Most divorces have the potential to be emotionally, financially, and legally taxing. Still, the complications that arise in high-net-worth divorces add layers of intricacy to the journey moving forward, especially if children are involved. In cases like these, managing significant assets, maintaining a consistent lifestyle for the children, and navigating the complexities of legal agreements are among the most crucial considerations. However, with the right approach, high-net-worth individuals can successfully co-parent and provide a stable, nurturing environment for their children.
In this blog, we’ll be diving into some of the critical matters that often plague high-net-worth individuals who are attempting to co-parent following divorce, and providing four tips on how you can work through them both on your own and with your former spouse to ensure that your children grow up in an environment of comfort and security.
What Makes High-Net-Worth Divorces So Complicated?
If you’ve been through one, you likely already know the answer to this. When a couple accrues a diverse and valuable array of assets during their marriage, they inevitably must decide how to divide them when they choose to end it. Some examples of these assets may include shares in a business, diversified real estate properties, stock options, international assets, hidden assets, and more. Tension can grow quickly when spouses disagree on splitting their assets, whether one was the majority income earner in the family or both were high-earners. Ultimately, if the spouses do not reach an agreement, a judge must step in to issue the final decision. This can leave one or both spouses feeling slighted, leading to resentment and possibly even bitterness. Reaching a settlement agreement allows them to retain more control over the outcome.
Of course, not every high-net-worth divorce plays out like the scenario above. However, they can still be the most difficult circumstances to co-parent for a host of financial, emotional, and logistical reasons. In addition to the residual emotions of the divorce, there may be issues surrounding alimony or child support, demanding career and social obligations, international or long-distance parenting, and possibly even public scrutiny. Here are four ways that you can effectively navigate this new chapter:
Tip #1: Prioritize Your Children’s Best Interests.
It may be hard – it may even seem impossible – but it is crucial to set aside any personal grievances and grudges with your ex and focus your energy on creating a positive environment for your child. Prioritizing their best interests means that all of your actions and decisions are made carefully with close attention to their emotional well-being, stability, and happiness. This includes doing everything you can to shield your children from any of the adult conflicts that you and your ex may be in the middle of.
High-conflict divorce can be traumatizing for children, especially in the first year or two after. Perhaps your high-net-worth divorce was particularly contentious and was prolonged due to ongoing disputes. If so, this may have added to the emotional and mental stress your child was already going through after the separation of their parents and the disruption of the day-to-day routine they were used to. Children are resilient, though, and they will eventually adjust to this change. Putting their needs above your own desires is the key to helping them move forward swiftly and confidently.
Tip #2: Create A Comprehensive Parenting Plan, Then Follow It.
If you – or both you and your former spouse – are high-earners, you likely have busy schedules, taxing career obligations, and a lifestyle that may be unpredictable at times. This is why working with your family attorney to build a comprehensive parenting plan that takes those things into account is so important. The advice and guidance of a family attorney in creating your parenting plan is invaluable. They have likely worked with countless other parents who lived similar lifestyles and may be able to help you consider things from different perspectives, as well as develop creative solutions to challenging issues and anticipate future complications.
Your parenting plan should touch on as many of the factors that will affect your time with your kids, such as whether you’ll employ childcare staff (like a nanny or au pair), how you’ll make travel arrangements if you are parenting from a long distance or internationally, how to divide holiday visitation, handling financial responsibilities beyond basic child support (such as private schooling or extracurricular activities), and others related to your unique circumstances.
Tip #3: Do Your Part To Maintain Open And Effective Communication.
Similarly, even if you have unresolved issues or feelings toward your ex, you will still need to communicate with them regularly regarding the children you share. Communication should be kept respectful, even if you disagree with them at times; blame games, insults, and negativity are not productive forms of communication. You each have essential information and unique perspectives that may benefit the other when it comes to ensuring your children are cared for in every possible way.
Many co-parents have found it beneficial to have one regularly scheduled phone call that occurs either weekly or bi-weekly, in which there is a strict agenda of child-related topics to discuss, such as the parenting time-sharing schedule, upcoming events, academic performance, etc. If your ex still seems intent on starting arguments or bringing up past conflict, you can politely disengage from the conversation by saying, “This isn’t working; we should end the call and try again at another time.”
Moreover, there are many apps and tools on the market that divorced parents find beneficial. They assist co-parents in communicating effectively through direct messaging, sharing schedules, tracking critical documents, and more. Some popular apps include Our Family Wizard, Onward, Custody X Change, Cozi, and App Close.
Tip #4: Utilize Professional Support As Needed.
It can’t be overstated how worthwhile your family attorney’s experience and perspective can be in helping you navigate matters related to your custody case. Many people operate under the false assumption that custody determination needs to be a heated court battle every step of the way. This is simply not true. Most high-net-worth parents find litigation alternatives such as collaboration or mediation to be most beneficial when it comes to saving time and money, in addition to protecting the privacy of you and your family. They can also assist you in the modification process if, down the line, the current arrangements need to be adjusted to reflect the changes that often accompany growing children.
Furthermore, other professionals such as child psychologists, co-parenting counselors, or coaches may impact your situation. These individuals seek to improve communication and teach productive conflict resolution skills so divorced or separated parents can raise their children cohesively.
Call Freed Marcroft Today
Let our team of experienced family attorneys play a part in your journey to living the life you’ve always envisioned for yourself. Whether you need exceptional legal representation in a custody matter like mediation, collaboration, or modification, you can rely on our firm’s decades of combined experience in family law. Contact our office to schedule your initial consultation, and let us help you take the first step in the right direction.