Divorce will change the landscape of a Florida family, especially when it comes to finances. Once a couple has ended their marriage, the money that used to go into supporting the combined household will now need to be spread across two individual households. In many cases, this means a drastic change in circumstances for families who are experiencing a Punta Gorda divorce. It is important for parents to have a game plan for discussing money matters with their kids.
Kids need to feel supported and safe, and when their living situation changes, they will often feel the disruption in their normal lifestyle. For very young children, it is easy to simply make the required adjustments and allow the kids to grow accustomed to the new “normal” as they grow older. For kids who are nearing middle school, a series of discussions should be initiated to give them the information they need to accept the changes ahead.
This might mean planning changes that could be perceived as negative in a more positive light. A move from one neighborhood to another, or from a larger home into a smaller space, can be discussed in terms of the positives that will accompany the change. Perhaps the new neighborhood is closer to a favorite park, or the bedrooms in the new house can be painted any color that the kids choose. It may be necessary to cut back on “extras” such as sports or various lessons, but those activities can always be replaced with less expensive but still fun family activities.
Older kids should be given more details about the family’s change in circumstances. It might be helpful to create a family budget, and to include teens in working through the numbers to see how expenses can be cut. This can not only give them a deeper understanding of the realities of the family’s financial scenario after a Punta Gorda divorce, it can also be a great lesson about how to structure their own financial management in the years to come.
Source: marketwatch.com, “After a divorce, how to talk to the kids about money“, Melissa Montgomery-Fitzsimmons, May 26, 2016