Make Divorce Vows To Rival Your Wedding Vows

Nobody spends years dreaming of the day of their divorce, but it may be every bit as significant as your wedding day. It's the start of a new life, and it presents a lot of choices that you can make for yourself and your family. When you have children, they need to be at the heart of all these decisions. When you are finishing your divorce paperwork, you may still want to assess what unfinished business you have to deal with as a family. One way to ensure that you have this established in no uncertain terms is to make divorce vows. 

What Are Divorce Vows?

Divorce vows are simply the clear, specific promises that you make to your ex-spouse and your children that outline how you will treat them as well as what you will and will not do as you move forward with your life. They can be a great comfort to kids who are still trying to cope with the breakup of their family, and they can show a solidarity that helps children still feel as though they do have a strong family unit even if that doesn't include parents who are married to each other.

Vows By Any Other Name

You don't have to call them divorce vows. You may opt to name them something more suitable for what they mean to your family. You may call them anything from "New Life Vows" to "Vows for the Love We Still Share." You may even ask your kids for ideas. Name them something that will be meaningful and reassuring to your children.

What to Include In the Vows

Just as every family is unique with its own dynamic and needs, your divorce vows should be specific to the members of your family. Write your divorce vows with the needs of the other people in mind. For example, if your children are worried about future step-parents they may encounter someday, address that in the vows. Ask your kids and ex-spouse what they most need to hear from you, then follow through with writing vows that you know you can keep that will address those needs. Some things you may want to address include:

  • Specify what you will still do to show your love for your ex-spouse, even if it's no longer a romantic love.

  • Address what actions you will take to ensure that your children feel loved in the aftermath of the divorce.

  • Express a plan for dealing with conflict that takes the feelings of each family member into consideration.

  • Promise that you will continue doing specific things you've always done that your kids enjoy. For example, if you always went to your kids' games, explain how that will stay exactly the same.

Finally, be generous with your vows, but don't promise your ex-spouse anything that may not be in your best interests or the best interests of your children. Ask questions before you make promises or commitments to your ex that you may not be able to keep. Beyond that, making vows can be a part of the divorce proceedings every bit as much as the divorce paperwork and your custody arrangements. Simply prioritize what matters to you and your family every step of the way.