On July 10, 2011, Joan T. Daniels, Esq. posted the following comment on the listserv for the members of the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles Coun...
Today, deep into my routine as a single mom of two teenage daughters and an elementary-school-age son, hearing those criticisms has yet to become any easier. I somehow suspect it never will. So I continue to remind my kids (and myself) I'm not infallible. I'm human.
It's important for all divorced parents to reflect on their relationship with their former spouse and how it may be subtly or overtly affecting the emotional and psychological well-being of their children.
Except for the years I was in Juvenile Dependency court, where mediation was available for each case set for trial (but not presently, because that court system does not now have the funds to do so), I can count on the fingers of one hand the times when opposing counsel suggested mediation.
Even with all the data pointing to the fact that using your kids as pawns and competing for your kids is not good for them, people continue to do it. If you are one of those that are stuck with an ex that just can't stop competing, I've got a trick for you.
On April 23, 2015, I read an article titled "Solid negotiation skills crucial for family lawyers," which I felt was an important read for both the public and my colleagues. I therefore shared the article over the social media and with the members of the listserv for the Family Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
I recently had the most fascinating consultation with a gentleman who was interested in the possibility of my representing him as his lawyer.
My parent's divorce helped me realize that love cannot be forced, and that you can never settle if what you want is happiness. Love is not easy, but it should always be unconditional and truthful, respectful and gentle. It didn't matter what people thought of us. What mattered was being at peace with who we were.
Whenever I coach the parent of a child with behavioral problems, I ask them to take a few steps back and and look at the misbehavior as a message announcing that something in the child's life isn't working.
Lately there has been a lot of debate about whether a "good divorce" is better than a "bad marriage," for the sake of the kids. I think we're forgetting about the third option: if you are in a bad marriage, and you have kids, how about doing whatever you need to do to make the marriage better? For the kids' sake.
The confident girl who walked away from us without blinking an eye is maybe coming back to us, her loving and worried parents.
My parents had always been less than stellar when it came to boundaries. With the divorce, however, the closeness has become too close. Some things are better left unsaid. Some secrets are better left hidden. The hardest thing about being an adult is the realization that, really, all adults feel like children.
Ending a marriage when you have children can elicit feelings of guilt ("What could I have done differently to save the marriage?") to panic ("How am I going to be able to support my kids financially and emotionally?") to reluctance and doubt ("Maybe we should just move into separate bedrooms and ignore each other?")
While no divorce is without challenges, getting through it shows your child how to work through hard times to achieve a brighter future.
I am a divorce lawyer, a divorce survivor, and once upon a time, I was a child of divorce. The divorce of my parents was a long time ago; I was seven to be exact, the third child of four. I remember the before, and I remember the after.
You can help minimize the negative effects of divorce on children in this age group by working together, as a team, on several issues.