Filing for divorce requires entering the legal pathway of making financial decisions concerning all assets and liabilities acquired during marriage.If children are involved, custody decisions are made and co-parenting the children between homes will begin. With all of the material division and changes of the family structure, the once married couple will begin life anew.
When children are involved, divorce means the death of marriage, but not the death of the parental relationship. When parents begin co-parenting, there must be consistent contact and communication about the children. Although parents may not be the best of friends, there will be events and opportunities for both parents to be involved in their children’s lives. For many children, this is where parents can choose to behave anything but mature but rather selfish and in a childish manner. Sure, most children do not desire for their parents to divorce but if it must, then at some point they at least hope that at some point life will become happy again. In some divorces that involve children, there is at least one parent that seems to be “stuck in neutral”. This parent has the intent to create anything but happiness for the family rather it seems as though this parent creates strife and stress for the family.
The actions of this parent may be aimed toward the other parent and often it seems that this spouse cannot move forward in life rather they are stuck in neutral, not moving in life. There could be many reasons why this may occur such as he is angry that the spouse left the marriage, cannot accept responsibility that he took toward the dissolution of the marriage, desires to control the other parent’s life, angry toward the choices that has created the life that he now has, etc.
Often times, when a spouse is “stuck in neutral”, because he is unhappy and although he may be taking steps to move toward the future, a part of this spouse is still stuck in the marriage.When this occurs in divorce, the concept of not working together for the best interest of the children and trying to regain control of the former spouse in whatever means that he can, may occur.When there is avoidance in working together for the sake of the children, the angry “stuck in neutral” parent does not realize that he is making choices that will be etched in the memories of their children forever.Avoidance of working together for the best interest of the children will often bring the avoidance of that parent in the children’s lives when they are mature enough to decide if they want that parent to be a part of their life.Choices made daily by parents while the children are in their care will reflect choices made by children as they reach adulthood.
The “stuck in neutral” spouse often attempts to manipulate the other spouse by filing motions without merit in order to gain economic superiority.If a spouse cannot control the other spouse in any other way , he often files motions that do not have merit but will cause the other spouse to seek legal representation to defend these motions creating additional legal expense.This often occurs when one spouse was more in control of the marriage and family, has more economic means than the other spouse and is angry in general.This is a way to keep wounds open and fresh and for the continuance of being “stuck in neutral”.Filing motions and attempting to gain economic superiority may give a sense of control for this spouse as he is helpless over what has occurred, nevertheless, the memories that he is creating for the children will never be forgotten.Due to the behavior of continual desire to take control by filing frivolous motions, the other spouse must suffer for this “stuck in neutral” behavior and children may view this type of behavior as a result of something they did and often feel guilty as a result.As children mature, they may feel responsible that one parent is always burdened to defend their parenting ability and realizes that one parent is creating problems for the family rather than focusing on their best interest.In this “stuck in neutral” parent’s mind, he may view it as proving a point, or taking charge, but in the end, he will not be a winner in the children’s eyes. As they mature and become adults, they often realize the trauma that the family suffered year after year of returning to court and the financial burdens that were placed on the family that could have been spent toward college education, meeting basic needs, and attempting to bring unity between the homes rather than always creating continual problems.
Spouse’s choices may be aimed toward the other spouse but often affect the children in general.If you feel that you are “stuck in neutral” finding the drive position of forward is needed before any more damage is created.
Divorce Tool Box understands the emotional difficulties many face during and after divorce. View our website today to see how our online session can assist you through your journey @www.divorcetoolbox.com.