If you’re divorced with kids, you’ve got one. They lurk around the corners of your life, not quite touching your personal space, but somehow part of it nonetheless. They linger like that last five pounds you can never get rid of. You have a love-hate relationship with them. On one hand they played a vital part of your life and you want to value them for that. On the other hand, you divorced them for what you considered really excellent reasons at the time. You never want to see or hear from them again yet, inevitably, at the end of the day, there they are on the phone, or in person, or at a school function.
Most religions make you go through a “How to be Happily Married” course.
New Jersey made me take a “How to be Divorced” seminar when I filed for divorce. All couples divorcing had to go through it. The primary theme was “Set your differences aside and do what’s best for your kids.” I don’t think that covers it, though. I think the Federal Government should mandate a “How to be Happily Divorced” class for all couples considering or going through a divorce, alternate title: Caring and Feeding for Your Very Own Personal Ex-Spouse.
The length of time you have to be in this class should be directly related to how long you intend to drag out your divorce, with extra priso – ah … class – time being given for petty things like “Not letting your child travel out of state” and “I want his record collection because he loves it.”
At the end of the class, which you pass by successfully co-parenting your child for one week without beating each over the head with a wet noodle or once mentioning your divorce, you receive your divorce certificate.
Because all the differences you had when you were married still exist and still get in the way when you’re divorced.
A sample curricula for this class could include:
Divorce 101 – Chocolate Can Still Mend Fences
- Developing a Successful Coparenting Plan
- What to Expect When Your Ex Starts Dating
- How to Happily Split Holidays
- Child Support: Why It’s Important to Happily Make Your On-Time Payments
- Chocolate Still Makes Your Ex Wife’s World Go Round. Buy Her Some.
Divorce 201 – The Way to Your Ex’s Heart is Still Through Burger King
- How to be Amicable During Drop off and Pick Ups
- What to Say When You Finally Meet the Mythical and Much Talked About New SO
- How to Not Let Special Occasions Disrupt Your Parenting Plan
- Child Support: Why It’s Important Not to Talk About it in Front of Your Kids
- Hitting the Drive Up With Your Ex Hubby Is a Valid Form of Making It Work
Divorce 301 – Restaurant Gift Cards are Great
- How to Grimly Smile at Each Other During Drop Off’s and Pick Ups
- What to Expect When Your Ex Gets Married
- Why Texting Does Not Count as Valid Inter-Parent Communication
- Child Support: A Topic Most Definitely Not to be Discussed Around Little Ears
- Gift Cards: How to Feed Your Ex Without Actually Having Contact With Them
Divorce 401 – Weight Watchers is a Valid Gift
- How to Fake A Friendly Relationship with Your Ex for the Sake of Your Kids
- What to Expect When Your Ex is Expecting With Someone Else
- How to Coparent with Your Child’s New Step Parent
- Email As a Method to Prevent Screaming Phone Fights
- Child Support: Give Up Complaining About It Already
- Weight Watchers Subscriptions as Gifts: You Know You Meant it Well
These courses do not have to be taken sequentially and the curricula may be mixed and matched to create a custom course to meet the divorcing couple’s objectives.