Remember when you were first learning to drive how you asked to practice every chance you could. Or if you’ve ever played a sport such as baseball, soccer or tennis you had many hours of practice until you became proficient. Well, we do not have the luxury of practicing for a divorce or the end of a relationship that has produced children.
Because we cannot practice for the end of what was once a loving relationship it is very important to seek the counsel of a professional.
A collaborative attorney or a mental health professional trained in collaborative divorce or mediation will guide you so that your children do not have to suffer the effects of long-term conflict.
I’m sure you will say that the last thing you want to do is hurt your children. I believe you when you say that, but what you don’t realize is that a court case that drags on for months or years is hurtful to your children. Putting down the other parent is hurtful to your children. Family and friends who encourage you to fight are hurting your children. Getting your children involved in the custody dispute or alienating a child from the other parent is extremely hurtful to the child.
So if you want your children to grow up to be healthy adults, and I’m sure you do, protect your children from conflict. Take a parenting class for high conflict divorce. Call a trained therapist. Seek out an attorney who is a trained collaborative attorney. But most of all stay “child focused”. Do not put your children in a “loyalty bind”.
Bring your best self to the divorce process and help your children grow up to have good self-esteem, good health, less stress, and a peaceful existence.
It’s your choice to let go of the anger or not. Just remember, if you choose to have a long lasting custody dispute, your children will most likely feel the long lasting effects.