Therapist’s tips for ‘sane, child-focused divorce’

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nothing is more important to a St. Louis parent than their children. That’s why when parents divorce, child custody issues are often the most contentious and emotional of the disputes to settle between the parties.

A therapist who specializes in helping adolescents and adults through the emotional issues involved in separation, divorce and blended families recently wrote an interesting column for the Huffington Post on how to have a “sane, child-focused divorce.”

She wrote that it’s her observation — and the observation of therapists and attorneys she has recently spoken to — that there’s an increase in violence in divorces and that people are too often putting their children into the middle of disputes with their spouses.

She wrote that kids are still too often treated as property by parents who are pulling in opposite directions in a divorce. The needs of those children “become additional weapons parents use against each other.”

Her tips for a sane and child-focused divorce include the following:

  • Don’t put your child in the middle of your conflicts with your former spouse. Parents always have choices to make as they go through a divorce and adjust to a custody-sharing life after a divorce. The therapist urges parents to always make the choice to leave their children out of their disputes with their former spouses. Don’t use the kids as weapons, referees or bargaining chips.
  • Let go. She writes that a healthy transition from marriage to divorce to life after your marriage means “letting go of the hatred, vengeance and retaliation.”
  • Hear the voice of your children before you make decisions about schools, activities, religion, etc. Listen to them and discuss the options with their other parent — your former spouse — as part of the decision-making process.

These tips can help keep a divorcing parent sane, as well as protect and nurture the children those parents love.

Source: Huffington Post: “7 Tips to Promote a Sane and Child Focused Divorce,” Risa Garon, Oct. 10, 2011

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