Diffusing Parent Conflict After Divorce

Increasingly in our family law court system we are seeing divorces that can be identified as “High Conflict”.  Entire careers, and hundred of thousands of dollars are being made by this phenomena, and whether you consider this wrong or right, one thing we can probably all agree on is that YOU do not want to be the less that 10% of  divorces that use 80% of the family court resources. If you are recently divorced and find your co-parenting relationship starting to deteriorate, it is important to stop divorce conflict before it goes too far. Here is my advice to you: 1. Love Your Child More Than You Hate Your Ex. During divorce, and sometimes long after, parents are so consumed with their hurt and resentments that they retreat into survival mode. For some parents, survival mode equals attack mode. The idea that children are resilient enough to be immune is a myth. In my work with anxiety and trauma clients, I have adult clients of High Conflict divorce, who at age 20, 30 & 40 are still suffering the emotional damage caused them by having been witness to their parent’s anger towards one another. In adults this effect manifests itself as anxiety, depression, neurosis and chronic health issues. And this damage is not intentional. Minimizing one’s own behavior or blaming a children’s fragility occurs because the High Conflict parent must focus on their own survival. The unintentional damage that loving parents cause their children seems inevitable because these parents do not have the knowledge and practical skills to parent in a crisis. Throughout a difficult divorce, parents’ unbridled...

The One Thing Not to Lose Sight of When Getting Divorced

Divorce is a time of great transitions, losses and potentially, growth. Divorce is one of the hardest things you might go through in your lifetime and while you are in the midst of this “hardest time in your life” you might lose sight of one very important thing. You want to stay out of court. You do. Yes, you really do. Yes, I understand that you’re mad/hurt/betrayed/protecting yourself. But you still really, really want to stay put of court. Court is not a place for families. It is a place for lawyers. It is a place for individuals who have been trained and socially encouraged to make up a paycheck by manipulaing a body of rules and formulas that have nothing to do with you and your family. Court is a place where strangers throw phrases around such as, “in the best interest of the children” to justify bankrupting your children’s parents (yes, that’s you) and all in the name of the law. If that sounds harsh, it’s because it is. Court is the worst thing that could happen to a healthy family. Is there a time and place where court and litigation is necessary? Absolutely. I will write more about that in a future post. For now, know that the great majority of divorce cases can and should be settled out of court, mediated, or refer to collaborative divorce. I get it, you are mad. And yes, your ex is a so and so. And yes, the children would be better off at this school or that school or ??? And no, you can’t agree on a custody...
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