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Giving Gifts to Children, Before or After Divorce

Some divorces are amicable. Others, however, are fraught with storm and stress. And when you are in the midst of storm and stress, it's easy to make mistakes - including serious financial mistakes.

This post will look at one particular mistake: spending too much money on your kids. This can happen all too easily in an Atlanta divorce. After all, in such a prosperous area, the pressures are always there to try to solve problems by spending money on them.

The problem is particularly acute in high-asset divorce, but can certainly occur in divorce of all types. In fact, many in the middle class are tempted by the thought that they can buy their children's love by treating them to sports tickets, electronic gadgets or other tokens of parental affection.

Even before a divorce, many parents feel guilty that they aren't spending more time with their children. This is often especially true for professional people who are trying to climb the career ladder.

If you miss your kid's ballgame or dance recital because you were working, you may feel guilty about it. That feeling will probably become less, not more, intense as you move toward a divorce.

Of course, some spouses also use gifts to children cynically, almost as a bribe, in their attempts to get an emotional edge on the other parent.

To be sure, there is a very legitimate role for being generous with your children. Divorce doesn't change that fact one bit. But it should make you think more strategically about how to give gifts to your children in a way that will matter to them the most.

Source: "The Five Worst Divorce Money Mistakes . . . And How To Prevent Them," Huffington Post, Suzanne de Baca," 7-13-12

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