It’s in your best interest to hire a quality attorney that you know has your best interests at heart. People often get confused in the midst of a divorce and forget that they need to look after themselves and their own best interests first and foremost. They should be asking questions like “can both parties file for divorce?” and “can you divorce without going to court?”. Unfortunately, most don’t think to ask these types of questions because they are so focused on just getting through another day and trying to survive the emotional toll that going through a divorce undoubtedly takes on a person.
Speak to your attorney and ask questions like can you file divorce papers online and can you file for a divorce while still living together? You might think that you know the answers to questions like this, but the only way to really know for sure is to ask a seasoned professional like an attorney who has dealt with divorce cases for a long time. Those are the individuals that you know have practiced plenty in the courts to make sure they are up to speed on all of the latest information that any good attorney should know. You can only trust an attorney who is willing to put in the effort like that for you, so make sure you get a great one.
Divorce is never easy. Even in the best of circumstances, it can be emotionally devastating to separate from your partner. Many divorces are not approached equally; that is, one party may want to divorce, while the other still wants to attempt to save the marriage. This can exacerbate the pain that comes with a split. But whether you’re both on the same page about your divorce or not, the issues that come with the divorce process only heighten if you share a child or children together.
The last thing any loving parent wants is to cause their child pain or stress. However, it’s almost inevitable that your children will struggle with their parents’ divorce at one point or the other. Sometimes, kids are old enough or simply emotionally mature enough to understand that a divorce is for the best. Nonetheless, it’s still difficult for them to adjust to the realities of divorce. A child will go from seeing both of their parents all the time, so splitting time between them. They’ll go from having one bedroom to two and moving from one place to the other. Eventually, they’ll probably need to adjust to their parents dating new people as well. All of this makes divorce highly complex, and it’s not uncommon for children to distance themselves from one or both parents as a result of a divorce. There’s a reason why child custody lawyers advise their clients to spend as much quality time as possible with their children when they do have them, particularly right after a divorce.
Though it may seem difficult to go from signing divorce papers to taking part in upbeat activities with your kids, this is one of the responsibilities of being a parent. You don’t have to hide your emotions, but you shouldn’t wallow either, or let your kids wallow. It’s important that you move forward, and perhaps give yourself and your child something to get excited about following your divorce. A lot of parents choose to do this by going on some kind of outing. While a vacation might seem like a bit much, a camping trip could just the right way to bond with your child and start fresh. Nonetheless, going on your first camping trip is always a bit nerve-wracking; going on your first camping trip with your children following a divorce is another issue entirely. By bringing a few key items, however, you’ll be able to ease up on the stress and focus on having a great time. What would they be? Let’s find out.
1. Healthy Snacks
There can often be some stress associated with going from a parent in a shared home with shared responsibilities to becoming a single parent. Though you and your ex will still co-parent, you may have to take on certain tasks that weren’t always assigned to you when the two of you were together. This may or may not include picking out what the kids will eat. If you didn’t do the grocery shopping prior to your divorce, you may be tempted to kick off your first camping trip with the kids with the typical snacks. Think salty chips or sugary cookies. Though this may be what your kids are drawn to, it’s not always what’s best for them. As any divorce attorney will tell you, the last thing you want is to avoid conflict with your ex regarding co-parenting. The two of you should discuss whether or not your kids are going to stick to a specific diet plan. But even if they aren’t, you’ll want to set a good example by providing healthier snacks.
For that matter, healthy doesn’t mean tasteless, and your kids will probably benefit from eating healthy on your camping trip. Healthy snacks will provide them with more energy, and ensure that they won’t get any stomach aches during the trip. Trail mix is obviously a classic camping snack, but we’re thinking more along the lines of specialty produce. Dried fruit could be a great sweet snack for your kids to enjoy while camping, especially pineapple, which is almost like candy when dried. You could also substitute nuts for chips, provided your family doesn’t have any allergies. String cheese is a classic option, as is fruit leather. You don’t necessarily have to avoid sweets altogether, either. Think about making some of your own cookies rather than buying them at the store, and perhaps using natural sugar-free sweeteners like stevia instead of the typical sugar or syrups. Don’t forget to take your kids’ input into mind. Though you as the parent need to make the executive decisions and stay healthy at that, they’ll appreciate being taken into account during the process. You might even want to include them in the snack preparation if you decide to make some homemade options. The bonding that goes into a camping trip isn’t just about what you outdoors, but what you do in preparation as well.
When selecting a campsite for your first camping trip with the kids, you may want to take into mind whether or not your camping area has plumbing. A lot of campsites in this day and age do provide bathrooms and showers nearby. However, this isn’t the case for all of them, and for that matter, you may not like the campsites that do offer these features. Maybe you and the kids really want to “rough it” and camp the old-fashioned way. This will certainly make your first camping trip together a memorable experience! But you don’t want it to be memorable because it was gross. You’ll want to bring along all of the necessary toiletries even if you anticipate your campsite providing some of them. Don’t be caught unawares!
Toilet paper is obviously the most important thing to remember. But you’ll also want to bring along toothpaste and toothbrushes, liquid hand soap, and everything you need to keep fresh during your camping trip. After all, you’ll be sharing close quarters as a family! Don’t forget to remind your kids to bring along deodorant and body wash, as well as any individual needs. Depending on how old your kids are, this could range from face cleansers to razors. One way that you can make sure that nothing is left behind is to provide your kids with a checklist. This way, this special first camping trip together won’t be interrupted by inconvenient trips to the nearest grocery store.
This is your first camping trip with your kids after a pretty traumatic event, right? But it’s also the beginning of your new life, and their new lives as well. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that it’s as well-documented as possible! The goal is to make memories that you can look back on fondly, and it’s important that your kids feel cherished and like the priorities in your life that they are. Yes, most of us have cameras built into our cell phones, but you might want to go beyond that for a camping trip. In fact, a lot of parents don’t even like the idea of letting their kids bring their phones alone. Why? It’s a distraction from the great outdoors and keeps them focused on technology when they should be focusing on spending time with family and enjoying nature.
If camping is something you see becoming a family tradition down the road, you may even want to invest in a body cam that will allow you to film your activities while you’re enjoying them, rather than pausing to get the right shots. These are readily available in this day and age and are perfect for people with active lifestyles who want to simply attach a camera to their shoulders, arms, or even chest and get moving. A lot of these cameras can also be attached to bike helmets if you decide to go cycling with the kids. Filming your first camping trip together, rather than just taking still images, allows you to document the trip in a more personal way. You might even want to edit together a video to post online after you get home!
4. Medical Info
Hopefully, your first camping trip with the kids will go smoothly and you won’t have to worry about anyone getting hurt or sick. But just in the case the worst happens, you need to make sure that you have your kids’ health insurance cards with them. If you aren’t the primary custodial parent, this may not be something that you’re used to keeping at home. However, you should at least have copies on hand at all times. Chances are that if your kids are hurt during the trip and you need to visit the hospital or even just a doctor’s office, it will probably be unfamiliar to you. Therefore, you should just get a head start by having this kind of information on hand so that you don’t have to worry about it.
Of course, health insurance information isn’t the only thing you should bring along. Make sure that if your kids have allergies, you have any kind of emergency treatments like EpiPens readily available. If they use inhalers, you should have both their primary inhalers and backups with you. A lot of kids are more prone to personal injury than others, and you’ll want to be prepared for that as well. Many minor injuries can be treated without leaving the campsite if you have a good first aid kit with you. If you want to be extremely cautious and prepared, you may even want to brush up on your CPR training! Camping is fun and it’s almost always safe if you plan correctly and choose the right campsite. However, you’re your kids’ biggest protector, and it doesn’t hurt to be paranoid.
5. Outdoor Gear
There’s a reason why you’re going camping instead of hitting a theme park, right? You want to enjoy the great outdoors with your kids! So while we’ve mostly focused on creature comforts, now we’re going to emphasize some other types of outdoor gear you should bring, aside from the obvious (like a tent). If you’re camping somewhere that allows fishing, you and the kids should take advantage of that! Fishing is a popular pastime for a reason, with over 49 million Americans taking part in freshwater, saltwater, and fly fishing in 2017. You and the kids can relax and fish together while enjoying beautiful views. When night falls, you’d be amazed by how visible the stars can be in the wilderness; bringing along a small telescope could help your kids enjoy them a bit more.
Of course, you should also pack some extra safety measures, as you will be outside after all. You never know what kinds of wild animals you might encounter, so bringing along something like bear spray may seem overcautious in certain areas, but isn’t out of the question. Furthermore, bringing along extra locks or seals for your food will ensure that these animals will be less likely to catch the scent of your meals and invade your campsite to investigate. Sure, you want to enjoy the great outdoors; but you don’t want to get too close to the wild!
Again, divorce is going to be tough no matter what. The final time that you remove your wedding ring will be painful. But you shouldn’t see your family as “broken”, as so many divorced parents do. Rather, you should realize that you have the opportunity to create a new family, and new bonds with your kids. You should make them your focus, and try to strengthen your relationships with them now that you have the time to do so.
Your first camping trip with the kids following your divorce may not be perfect. There are always hiccups during any new experience. But if you put in the effort and show your kids that you care, they’ll understand and take it to heart. Just put your heart into planning this trip, and you’ll be sure to have a great time!