Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You

How do parents manage a newborn during divorce?

September 01, 2022 Attorney Billie Tarascio Season 5 Episode 6
Modern Divorce - The Do-Over For A Better You
How do parents manage a newborn during divorce?
Show Notes Transcript

When host Billie Tarascio answered questions on TikTok about managing parenting time with a newborn, and the variety of explosive issues that come with it, responses came in like wildfire. One of those responses came from Yasmin and Tylor Henson, now divorced parents of a 2-year-old, who successfully navigated the infant stages of their son, sharing parenting time even while the child was nursing.

How did they do it? You've heard people insist that it's about putting the kids first, but Tyler and Yasmin added some extra elements to make it happen. Listen in for their method of making it all work. 

[00:00:00] Billie Tarascio: Hi there. It's Billie Tarascio. Welcome to another episode of the Modern Divorce podcast. Today's episode is going to be an interesting one. We are talking to Tyler and Yasmin Hensen. And they are a Divorced couple, a Divorced couple that is successfully co-parenting a very young child and they've been divorced the entire time that they've been co-parenting.

So it's a, it's a different situation and they're doing it successfully. And I can tell you as a Divorce attorney, I've seen many, many people do it unsuccessfully. [00:01:00] So I know the secrets of doing it wrong and now we'll get to learn how to make it work. Tyler and Yasmin, thanks for being here. 

[00:01:09] Yasmin: Yeah. Thank you so much for having us.

[00:01:11] Tyler: Thank you. 

[00:01:12] Billie Tarascio: So who wants to start, tell me how we got here. 

[00:01:16] Yasmin: Ty, do you wanna start or do you want me to kick 

us off? 

[00:01:20] Tyler: Go ahead. You got it. 

[00:01:21] Yasmin: Okay. So we were married pretty young. We were married at, 18 years old. And we, so Tyler was in the military for. What is 8, 9, 8 years. Yeah. Eight years.

Yeah. And so for the entirety of our marriage we were in the military. So, you know, we kind of did that full thing. And then in 2019, we were, you know, started talking about Divorce. And I was at the time pregnant. So obviously, you know, hard time for both of us, I think just the Divorce [00:02:00] itself.

But then also then having to make decisions on a child that wasn't born yet. So. It was, it was tough. It was really hard. We did everything on our own. We didn't have any attorneys or anything. No mediators the entire time we were able to you know, kind of come to all of those decisions together you know, throughout the entire Divorce.

And even now we haven't had to seek mediation or anything like that. 

[00:02:29] Billie Tarascio: So Tyler, you were in the military? 

[00:02:32] Tyler: Yep. Yeah. So I was deployed for a period of time. I was in the Marines for eight years and during our marriage and in the beginning, it was pretty tough on it.

I was. In the field more than I was home for the first four, five years of my military career. So, I mean, that was pretty tough. It definitely had an effect on, on some stuff as well, but yeah, [00:03:00] it's in the military. 

[00:03:01] Billie Tarascio: Okay. So you, when you decided to Divorce, it's unusual that two people come to that decision at the same time.

Usually it's very, it's difficult. Some person gets there before somebody else. And it's it, it sounds like you two were on the same page. Is that right? 

[00:03:18] Tyler: Not to start, I wouldn't say I did ask for it, so I did bring it up at first and then we did talk about it and then start moving forward in that aspect.

It wasn't easy by no means like we talk about it as if we just made it happen as a seamless process, but it was not, it was Rocky, there was rough times, but I think. With her being pregnant and us being able to just come to the conclusion that we were gonna do it for him and the happiness of him over ours, it kind of made things easier, especially looking towards the future.

Cause it wasn't. I mean, if you're having a kid, [00:04:00] you're not thinking about your own happiness, you're thinking about what's gonna make him happy. Cause if you are in unhappy in a marriage, it's. It's gonna have the same, if not worse effects, I guess, of a, of a Divorce. So we were just really trying to put him first and we always have, and like I said, it's not easy.

There are times when we're at each other's throats. I wouldn't say in like a bad way, I would say just disagreeing. We never ever let it get outta hand. It's just like disagreeing. But we do put him first all the time. And it has made things a lot easier as far as the Divorce process custody and everything that we've encountered so far.

And he's only two and a half. So it's been going well for two and a half years. 

[00:04:43] Yasmin: I mean, yeah. Which I think is great, considering that I feel like in the early stages, like, you know, I, I know people who have children and, you know, they're still not even speaking at two years, you know, of post Divorce.

And like we were [00:05:00] in at soccer games together, you know what I mean? Like, like last month, two months ago, or however long ago it was. And so, you know, it just, it, it takes time. And like he said, it's definitely not something that came easily. I think we've, we've put in a lot of work and you know, to get to this point.

And it's, it was very hard super difficult for all of us, but yeah, I mean it, we made it work. 

[00:05:24] Billie Tarascio: Do you agree Yasmin that the, the Divorce was easier because you were pregnant? 

[00:05:31] Yasmin: I think what Tyler meant was that it was easier when we shifted like the focus. Because for me, I mean, obviously like a Divorce in general is difficult for anyone, you know, it's life changing. For me being pregnant, it was so hard, but I think.

The moment that I, cuz I just chose not to, I could, I could not even sit and think about the Divorce when I was pregnant. I had to completely [00:06:00] pivot my mindset because I like just didn't know that I could handle it. You know, you're trying to handle pregnancy of pregnancy alone as. Life changing, right?

You going into motherhood and this is my first child, like going into motherhood and whom, what kind of mother I'm gonna be, what kind of parents we're gonna be, you know, et cetera. Right. So I think all of that is difficult. I think in that moment, I chose to focus on my child, my pregnancy, and the health of my pregnancy.

And. That was my only focus. I, I think the Divorce stuff I kind of dealt with later, I think. And I, and, and maybe both of us kind of did it that way. I don't know. I don't know if it was more like that for him, but I think, you know, during the pregnancy, it was like, we gotta get through this first and then we'll get through that later kind of thing.

But we did have everything filed by the time. Our son was, was born after he was born, is when we, everything was. You finalized? Certifying. Yeah. . 

[00:06:59] Billie Tarascio: It was finalized [00:07:00] after your son was born? 

[00:07:01] Yasmin: Yes. Okay. So from what we understood was that we couldn't file our paperwork until after he was born, because they wouldn't like a judge wouldn't sign off.

And I mean, you would know this better than anyone, but a judge wouldn't sign off on a custody agreement for an unborn child, essentially. 

[00:07:21] Billie Tarascio: well, that's, that's true. And that's the next thing I wanted to talk to you about custody of newborns is incredibly hard. 

[00:07:31] Yasmin: Mm-hmm . 

[00:07:32] Billie Tarascio: Yeah, I have gotten more comments on, 

[00:07:35] Yasmin: I saw the TikTok 

[00:07:37] Billie Tarascio: TikTok about newborn custody than any of my other, like hundreds of talks.

People have strong feelings about mm-hmm what should happen with newborns? What did you do? 

[00:07:48] Yasmin: So I just wanted to say we saw the TikTok and I think that was really what kind of. Sparked this whole thing was because we, we actually, after the TikTok started talking about it because it [00:08:00] was, you know, it was a little while ago, but it, I think that was.

I'm gonna try and phrase this carefully. That was the hardest part of our Divorce. But I think it was not necessarily deciding custody because we already knew what that was gonna look like. Cuz we, we have 50, 50 custody and we knew that that's what we wanted to do. What was difficult was the first year of his life.

And that's what we were struggling with because I wanted to nurse and I, you know, it was important for me to nurse and to have that bond with my son and, you know, whatever. But it was also very important for him to bond with his dad. And for him to have, you know, parenting time. And I think that was really like the hardest part for us was trying to decide that first year, because I wanted one thing and he wanted another and, you know, kind of trying to find a middle ground which is what we did.

We found a middle ground. And I mean, I think it was. Difficult because [00:09:00] it took us a while to, you know, a lot of the decisions that we make together. Usually they usually kind of happen pretty quick. And I think this one, it was like something that took us like a couple of weeks to kind of like finally get to an agreement because we both felt so strongly about it.

So it was definitely one of the ones that took the long longest, but yeah, we, we just came to an agreement on it. We. Basically what happened was, you know, we were gonna do 50 50 from, from day one. But it. Trying to kind of ease our son into that schedule. So for the first two weeks of him being born dad and I worked together under the same roof, trying to figure out how to be parents, right.

And so we did that together. And that was the first two weeks. And then after two weeks, dad had to go back to work. I was on maternity leave and dad visited often was over almost every day, I [00:10:00] think, or every other day, whatever his schedule would allow. . And then it was after the first month that we started inching into a 50 50 schedule.

So we have a 2, 2, 3 schedule is what we follow. So it was kind of like, you know, dad would have baby for a day. And so for a week he would have a day or two days during the day. And then we would start overnight, you know, incorporating that into the schedule. And then until we got to the point where we were at 2, 2, 3, but we tracked back.

Cause I'm like, I'm, I'm weird about calendars. And I looked, I was like, I have the calendar from when we were, you know, cuz we had such a crazy schedule. So it, by month three, he was on a 2, 2, 3 schedule.

[00:10:45] Billie Tarascio: Wow. 

[00:10:46] Yasmin: Yeah. And I was like nursing the whole time and we just, we made it work . 

[00:10:52] Billie Tarascio: Wow. Yeah. 

Wow. So your three month old mm-hmm was [00:11:00] doing a 2, 2, 3 schedule and you were.

Nursing when you had your baby and pumping when you didn't it. 

[00:11:07] Yasmin: Mm-hmm yeah, I very remem I remember him calling me, it was like 10 o'clock at night. Like, Hey, I'm running outta milk. And I, and he lived down the street from each other, like, okay, I'm coming. And I'd like, drive over there and like, bring him however much milk I had in my freezer.

And like that's and cuz he was solely on breast milk for, I wanna say like. Seven months. And then we started doing like, kind of like a half and half. We started doing formula when we started doing formula, then it started getting easier. Cause we didn't have to do like the late night breast milk runs, you know, but yeah, it was, it was, it was hard.

[00:11:44] Billie Tarascio: Tyler. What was that like for you? 

[00:11:46] Tyler: First off, I gotta give her a lot of recognition for allowing that cuz I know how tough it was even at the time. So I always, always tell her her like thank you for letting that happen. And it's great [00:12:00] that she had enough trust in me as a new father to be able to do that with everything that was going on as well.

But I think I made it a priority to show her improve to her that like. My son is number one, our son is number one and I continued to show that and we were able to make it work. But yes, it wasn't easy being a new parent, especially like by myself. And then when he has that bond with his mom. So, no, it wasn't, it wasn't easy.

I definitely a lot of struggles trying to raise him on my own as well as I'm sure she's encountered as well. Especially during those younger younger years, but just the grace that she had to allow me to have that opportunity. I, I owe her a lot for that and we made it work. It wasn't easy. It's tough, but we did what we had to do and put him first to allow him to have a relationship with both of us that early in his life.


[00:12:57] Billie Tarascio: I don't know very many people who have [00:13:00] done that. 

[00:13:00] Yasmin: Yeah. I, we, I, you know, I find that we're often like the unicorn in, in a lot of these situations because I know a lot of families, I know Tyler knows a lot of families that. You know, co-parenting is this ugly, nasty thing? And it, it makes me sad. It makes me incredibly sad because we have such a great relationship just yesterday.

I was over, you know, to pick him up and, you know, whatever, and like, It was out of schedule, you know what I mean? But that's because we have that bond. We have that relationship where we can communicate if, you know, he needs what I need, whatever can I, you know, have the baby for an hour, whatever, whatever on, you know, each other's days and we can make it work, you know?

And it makes me sad that. Some people don't even like see their kids on things that they're with mom or dad. Like we FaceTime what every other morning, every morning, every night, you know with our son who's two and he asks like, oh, mommy or [00:14:00] daddy. And he wants to talk to both of us. And and we make it work, you know?

And I think it makes it easier that we have a great relationship, you know, but some parents don't even get that. And like that makes, it makes me so sad. You know, it's just. That people experience that you know, or that that's their experience. 

[00:14:18] Billie Tarascio: Absolutely. Can I ask, are either of you 


[00:14:25] Yasmin: No.

[00:14:25] Tyler: Currently, no, but we have been at points in our relationship and well, she was speaking on as well. Like it wasn't easy to just come to these agreements. It isn't always I'll ask for him and I can get him it's if it lines up with each other's schedules and everything. So there are times when you have to.

Swallow your pride and be like, no, it's not gonna work this time. And why not to be spiteful with your partner? I believe it's happened between us, where we were little at each other, of course, but we're, we're able to like move past that. So it's not always rainbows and butterflies. We do on our [00:15:00] speed bumps.

[00:15:00] Billie Tarascio: This is crazy. So you're telling me that you two basically have the same child rearing philosophies. Or is that it, are you fairly aligned in how you make decisions and the things that are important to you? 

[00:15:15] Yasmin: Yeah, I would say so. I feel like if we ever disagree on something, it's something that's kind of like, like out of like left field, you know, it's never anything on like how we raise our son.

I think that's something we've always been in line with mm-hmm which has made. Easier, I would say mm-hmm mm-hmm and I don't mean to keep making it sound like it's rainbows and butterflies. Cuz I, I, I have that tendency. I know I do. And so, so thanks for, you know, checking on that, but I, I tell people all the time that co-parenting is the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life. And I think a lot of people, you know, it's, it's so hard, but it's, he, I, like Tyler said, it's like, [00:16:00] Have always kept it in mind that we are doing this for one reason and one reason only. And that is for our son.

I love him with my entirety. His father loves him with it, you know? and that's what makes this easier. You know, not that it's not something that's easy, but it makes it easier to when you have that mindset, because I feel like some parents, you know, don't, they don't put their kids first and that's where you get these, you know, really toxic environments for the children and this and that and whatever because they they're acting selfishly.

And that might be a bold statement, but I, I mean, that's just kind of at the end of the day, how I see it personally because we do have to think about the other, like our son, we have to put him first and he's the reason why we're making these decisions and it, the moment that our it's about me or it's about him, then it's, we gotta kind of like back up and start over, you know, 

[00:16:56] Billie Tarascio: mm-hmm 

can you give me an example of something [00:17:00] you've disagreed about.

[00:17:01] Tyler: Yeah. 

[00:17:02] Yasmin: I, it's been a little bit since training. Yeah. It has been a little bit training. 

[00:17:06] Billie Tarascio: Like all of these are kind of big, stressful things. 

[00:17:09] Yasmin: I got, I got, I think I got a good one. 

[00:17:11] Tyler: Okay. 

[00:17:13] Yasmin: Tantrums, how we handle tantrums? 

[00:17:15] Billie Tarascio: Sure. 

[00:17:15] Yasmin: Cause he's, he's at the twos tantrum, like, oh, we have tantrums like. Yes, we had a tantrum we had a big one.

So we just, I think we have different approaches most of the time mm-hmm as far as how we handle something. I think in general, we kind of try our own way, you know, like I'll handle it this way. You'll handle it this way. And then what's working, what's not working. But sometimes, you know, I'll disagree with maybe with the way he does it, or he dis disagrees with the way that I'm doing it.

And we kind of just like, you know, listen to the other person. Right. Because there's valid reason why they, you [00:18:00] know, are disagreeing. And then we just try our thing. And then, like I said, we, we kind of will report back and, you know, say, well, I've been doing this and it's been working hard, I've tried this and it did not work, you know and, and vice versa.

I think that's kind of the biggest thing. Yeah, I, I think we kind of just stay in our own lanes, I think, in those situations like I'll do what, I'll try what I want at home and he'll try what he wants at home. I don't know, Tyler, what do you think? But. 

[00:18:29] Tyler: Yeah, I guess it has to do with a lot of the things that we've just recently talked about is just trusting the other person as a parent.

Now we we've had disagreements and we may not have trust in other aspects of our relationship. But as a parent, I've always said, she's a good mother. And I always give her that all the time. And I believe it's it's mutual. So having that trust to be able to have her handle the tantrum that, that works .

I believe in that sometimes we do disagree. Like I think she should be a little bit firmer at times, or maybe I think she should handle something else. Another time. [00:19:00] But we talk about it and it's hard as single parents, you have to play both roles. You have to play disciplinary and loving right after something happens.

And it's, it's not easy yesterday. I was telling her about it. I got, I got frustrated with this tantrum and we, we talked about it and we, we did it, but yeah, it's just mostly trusting each other as a partner. I mean, even when she was in a relationship and I was in a relationship after that, It's tough to think that like, she's gonna have somebody else around my son mm-hmm but I, I told her, I'm like, listen, this is in your hands.

I trust you as a mother, don't bring, you know, some, some lunatic or somebody around my son. I have to, I trust her as a parent that she'll have my son's best interest at heart. And I believe she it's mutual in that aspect too, but it's, it's not easy. Putting him first and having the trust as a parent is yeah.

Vital to, to making [00:20:00] this 


[00:20:00] Yasmin: I was just thinking of a, of a phrase that we say all the time is I trust your judgment. Yeah, we say, and sometimes we get to a point in the conversation where I don't think anything else is necessary to say other than I trust your judgment. And then that's kind of like, we don't need to talk about it anymore, you know?

And like, if that's, if that's what you're gonna do, that's what you're gonna do. And then if I'm gonna do that, then I'm gonna do that. And then, you know, kind of, but we always communicate. So at the end of the day, like, it's not like one of us is kept in the dark, you know, with whatever it is that we're trusting each other with.

If that makes. Well, I do think 

[00:20:38] Billie Tarascio: The two of you are unicorns. Thank you for sharing your story. There's a lot that we can all take from this. A lot of communication, a lot of benefit of the doubt. A lot of like I'm hearing a lot of affirmations, you know, a lot of affirmations, you know, by just repeating enough.

[00:21:00] Like it, all the matters is, is the benefit of our son. And I trust that we're on the same page. Like you're helping bring philosophies closer, but then also at the end of the day, you recognize that there are some decisions that will be made by Tyler at his house. And he will do things the way he wants to.

And the same is true for you. Yeah. And you're both. Okay. yeah, pretty cool. 

Any parting words of wisdom for our listeners? 

[00:21:29] Yasmin: I would just say, don't forget who you're doing this for, you know, at the end of the day, you're doing this for your children. And I think people forget that. Often, oftentimes they think about themselves.

They, you know, cuz it's hard not to, you know, when you're in a tough situation, you, you think about me and like what I'm going through, but you gotta remember what your kids are going through and what they're going to go through over the next few years. [00:22:00] Yeah, cuz this isn't, this isn't just today or tomorrow or next month, this is years we're gonna be doing this.

Right. Our son is two and we're gonna be doing this for. 18 plus years, because when he gets married, graduation college, all of those things, we're still gonna, we're still both gonna be there. So you gotta, you gotta keep the future in mind. And I think a lot of people forget about that. 

[00:22:23] Billie Tarascio: It's a good point. And the other, the only other thing I wanna say is outcome on how our kids turn out.

Yeah. Based on those studies, what really matters is like, who are they surrounded by? Do they go to a good school? Are their neighbors good? Do they have role models? That's the only thing that like on a very macro level matters, but we, as parents can get so convicted in what we believe is right for our child and be so willing to fight for that conviction.

But the consequence of fighting for that conviction comes at the expense of what you just described, which is the long term relationship [00:23:00] between the 


[00:23:01] Yasmin: Yeah. 

[00:23:01] Billie Tarascio: So thank you both so much your new parents, your young parents, and you just dropped some wisdom. Thank you. 

[00:23:12] Yasmin: Thank you so much for having.

[00:23:15] Billie Tarascio: If you have enjoyed this episode, make sure to download it forward it to your friends, share it with people.

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