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The Heidi B Show


Apr 1, 2021

Divorce and Co-Parenting with Lauren Hunt

When you get a divorce, the hardest part is often figuring out co-parenting. How do you communicate without any misunderstandings? What is the ideal custody arrangement for your children? Most of all, what is the best way to navigate a high conflict relationship?

In this week's episode, matrimonial and family attorney and mediator Lauren Hunt joins us to talk about overcoming the challenges that come with divorce. She's here to give legal advice to those in high conflict or challenging co-parenting situations. Lauren also shares a few tools to help with the usual problems that you might encounter. And, for those who still aren't sure whether they want to get a divorce, Lauren discusses some ways to help you decide and know for sure.

If you want to learn effective tips and tricks to handling divorce and co-parenting, then tune in to this episode!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Learn about the things that make co-parenting difficult and how you can effectively deal with them.
  2. Discover the best forms of communication and documentation.
  3. Find out how to come up with the ideal custody arrangement for your situation.

Resources

Episode Highlights

Lauren’s Career

  • When Lauren was in second grade, her parents had a high-conflict divorce.
  • While she was in law school, she did an internship at a local organization that assisted domestic violence victims. She knew then that it was what she wanted to do.
  • She found the field incredibly interesting since she was doing different things every day.

Things That Make Co-Parenting Difficult

  • The number one thing is communication.
  • Typically, in a high-conflict relationship, lots of misunderstandings happen. They tend to focus on the actions of the other.
  • Before you enter any conversation, the best thing to do is to set your goals and make sure it's for your child.

The Best Forms of Communication and Documentation

  • There are many different co-parenting apps out there, and using one can prove helpful.
  • One reason is that it places all the communications in one spot, so it's like a designated space for only that, without any distractions.
  • When it comes to documentation, Lauren's best suggestion is to create an email chain with yourself.
  • It's easy to do, and you get to see the time and date, which can help you build credibility in court.

Helpful Tips for Co-Parenting

  • Co-parenting situations are harder with the pandemic since some people will follow the rules rigidly while other people don't care.
  • The children then end up getting stuck in the middle, so you have to figure out a way to work together.
  • You should focus on finding a baseline or common ground between the two of you, like wearing masks or social distancing.

On the Matrimonial Field and the Ideal Custody Arrangement

  • In general, Lauren thinks people are much more understanding when someone is going through a divorce. There's more leeway at work, and schedules are more flexible.
  • The ideal custody arrangement changes depending on the specific children you have.
  • When Lauren was a child, her custody arrangement was living primarily with her mother and seeing her father on alternating weekends, but she wished it were closer to 50-50.
  • As long as both parents are safe and good, the kids should spend a good amount of time with both.
  • One factor to consider is that some children don't do well with changing households frequently.

How Do You Know When to Get a Divorce?

  • One of the many possible answers is if something happened that you cannot forgive.
  • At the very least, you can get information on what divorce could look like for you.
  • Another way to answer that question is to see a divorce attorney and get a consultation. 
  • Doing that does not obligate you to go through with it. It simply lets you have more information so you can make an educated decision.

Lauren’s Daily Non-Negotiables and Advice

  • Aside from coffee, her daily ritual is to write one line a day in her journal.
  • The first advice she would give to someone having difficulty co-parenting is to find a trusted counselor or divorce coach.
  • You need an outlet separate from your friends and family that can work as a venting spot.
  • The second is getting a consultation with an attorney to understand it more and start to put parameters around it.
  • Lastly, never answer your email if you are feeling any amount of annoyance. Sleep on it instead.

5 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

“I think communication is really the biggest hurdle that you have to face when you’re in a high conflict relationship. How can you create some sort of channels of communication where you can actually have productive conversations?”

“When you go into the conversation, just make sure you’re doing so with a headspace of, ‘What is my actual goal here?’ and all of your communication has to focus on that goal.”

“The goal with a high conflict relationship is doing what you can to remove the conflict, because all we have control over is ourselves. We can’t control how they’re going to respond.”

“Sometimes you can’t forgive things. Or you can’t look past it, because it’s always just going to be at the forefront of your mind. And that’s okay.”

“Never, ever answer an email if you have any amount of annoyance. Just don’t do it. It’s just gonna be there, sleep on it. (...) Just do not respond if you’re agitated in any amount.”

About Lauren

Lauren Hunt is an attorney and mediator in New York State. Her practice has exclusively been in the field of family and matrimonial law for over a decade now, focusing on matters related to divorce, prenuptial agreements, child support, child custody and parenting time, and adoption. 

Lauren understands that you have to resolve family problems quickly, cost-effectively, and in a way that addresses the client's short- and long-term needs. She works to craft individualized solutions that are practical and realistic, and she accounts for each client's unique facts. Currently, she is the owner of Lauren L. Hunt Esq., PLLC, a family-focused law firm.

If you want to learn more about Lauren, you can visit her website or reach out to her on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook.

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To being relationship ready,

Heidi B