Divorce can be a challenging time for anyone, and it can be especially difficult for working mothers. The issues facing working moms in a divorce can be complex, requiring careful consideration to ensure a just and right outcome. For example, while research shows men are taking on more housework and childcare than ever before, women continue to perform more physical and emotional labor in their families, irrespective of age, income or workloads. Sometimes called the “mental load” or “second shift,” this phenomenon can make divorce and child custody a particularly stressful time for working moms. This blog offers tips for how to navigate the divorce process successfully for women who are already juggling busy career and family lives.
Tip 1: Set Realistic Goals
Working women should establish goals for their divorce from the outset, focusing on realistic outcomes for themselves and their kids. These goals will help prioritize the focus of your divorce and allow you to spend time and resources on the issues that matter the most. Setting clear goals will also help to set boundaries and avoid getting caught up in unnecessary conflict during the case. While it can be challenging for many hard-working women to say, “no,” when asked to do something, having a list of goals will help you to create a roadmap and avoid the pressure to “do it all.”
Tip 2: Find Your Support System
We all need support during tough times. Whether you turn to a family member, friend, counselor, or people you know in your community or place of worship, it is a good thing to ask for help during a life-changing event, such as a divorce. Find people you trust, and who will help you keep your strength when times get tough.
Tip 3: Prioritize Kid Activities and Events
During the divorce process, it is important to be present for your kids when possible. The new rhythm and transitions of a divorce can be stressful on children. Remaining present in their daily lives and important events is a great way to support their emotional health and reinforce your bond as a parent. If you work in a career that requires long periods of travel, or intense hours during certain months, you should consider timing your divorce around this, if possible. Juggling a hyper-intense workload during a divorce is difficult, and not ideal. It can affect both your kids, and your divorce. If possible, talk to your employer about your situation to see if there is a way to make changes to adapt to your new demands of divorce and co-parenting.
Tip 4: Organize and Delegate
Co-parenting and divorce are where lists, calendars, and organization will pay off. A child custody schedule for two working parents should consider both the kids’ school and extracurricular schedules, as well as the parents’ core work hours. There are helpful co-parenting apps that can help communicate this information between co-parents. It is also acceptable to delegate responsibilities when necessary. Looking at new options for childcare, household chores, and other tasks can help a busy, working mom save time to focus on herself and her children.
Tip 5: Take Care of Yourself
This is a good time to dispel the myth of perfectionism. Divorce can bring up a lot of stress and negativity, so it is critical for working women to take care of themselves physically and mentally. Use your lunch break for a quick walk or meditation session. Read a book or enjoy reconnecting with friends. This is a season of change and an opportunity to reassess your career and life goals. Set aside time to grieve, but also to process and plan for your future.
In conclusion, divorce can be a challenging time for working mothers, but with these essential tips, and the right support you can navigate the process successfully while managing your busy career and family life.
Lindsey was named D Magazine’s Best Lawyer in 2021 and 2022 and was also named D Magazine’s Top Lawyers Under 40 for two consecutive years. Lindsey is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and was selected to be a member of the 2020 Dallas Bar Association Women’s Empowered to Lead Program and the 2021 State Bar of Texas Leadership SBOT Program. She is known for her experience in complex property division, and asset tracing, challenging child custody cases, addiction, mental illness, domestic abuse, and pre-or post-marital agreements.
If you are a working mom facing divorce and have questions about the divorce process, please contact Lindsey Obenhaus at 214-974-8026 for more information or to schedule a consultation.
Our attorneys are experienced in all aspects of family law and will guide you through each step of the process, ensuring you have the information you need to make wise decisions and prepare for the future.