Divorcing Parents – Think Twice Before Going to Court

Divorcing Parents – Think Twice Before Going to Court

Parents Fighting Around Kids After Divorce

Parents Fighting Around Kids After Divorce

By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC

When famous celebrities like Mel Gibson, Denise Richards, Halle Berry and others battle through a divorce, the stakes are high. Millions of dollars are often in contention, blurring issues related to child-custody and visitation. These couples hire “killer” attorneys and commit to paying an enormous price — which includes not only hefty legal fees, but a tremendous time expenditure and emotional toll.

Too many non-celebrity couples facing divorce blindly choose this same path – often without considering the reality of all the costs involved. They do not have the revenue to maintain ongoing litigation in the courts. Nor do they have a game plan for putting together the pieces of their shattered family after the legal battles are finally over.

Sadly they come to realize that celebrities are usually poor role models. They don’t necessarily make the wisest decisions regarding their children’s best interest as they move through and beyond divorce.

Litigation doesn’t lead to positive outcomes.

It’s easy to forget that divorce litigation is really a luxury, not a necessity.  And it’s often a luxury that results in material success at the cost of familial success.  Not only is fighting expensive, it’s often more about ego than concern for the best interest of your kids. The money spent in court fighting over details could instead be used for living expenses or savings toward your child’s education. Those same issues could just as easily have been resolved through mediation – and at a much lower price.

Too often the only real winners in family courts are the two divorce attorneys. When you are paid by the hour to keep your client in the ring, it’s unlikely that peaceful resolution is a strong motivator. So it’s go for the jugular – and then let Mom and Dad pick up the broken chards of their lives while creating a workable plan for co-parenting the innocent children waiting on the sidelines.

When emotions are strained between two parents it’s hard to think about cooperation, let alone aligning yourself with one another co-parent on behalf of your children. That’s when an objective party needs to add some sanity and clarity to the mix.

Trust your own parenting skills when co-parenting.

Parents need to be reminded that no one knows your children better than both of you. Do you really want a stranger deciding the fate of your children – or the outcome of how much time you get to be with them? Is it worth the gamble to put your family’s future in the hands of an overworked family court judge?

Wouldn’t the advice of professional counselors, mediators, coaches or collaborative divorce attorneys – all child-advocates who work toward finding long-term resolutions that work for everyone in the family – be a wiser (and more cost-effective) choice?

How do you think your children want Mom and Dad to handle decisions affecting their family after divorce? What will you say to them when they are grown adults and question your choices? Are litigation battles really in your family’s best interest? Think long and hard before you answer. Your children will thank you!

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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach and author of the acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — With Love!To get her free ebook, coaching services, expert interviews, programs, e-courses and other valuable resources on divorce and co-parenting, visit: http://www.childcentereddivorce.com

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Divorcing Parents: Don’t See Divorce As a Failure

Divorcing Parents: Don’t See Divorce As a Failure

Family Portrait

By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC

We all know divorce marks the end of a marital relationship. But when children are involved, it need not mean the end of the family. This is an important distinction for both parents and children to grasp. It can affect how that family is impacted by the divorce.

Too often in our culture we look at divorce as a failure. That negative label puts an added emotional burden on parents when they are already feeling vulnerable, ashamed, anxious and confused.

Rather than reflecting failure, divorce can be a solution for families. This is especially true for families that have been living with tension, anger, disrespect or other highly charged emotions. For those families divorce may become an intervention. It changes the form of a family, but need not mean the end of that family from a child’s eyes.

Parents who work on reframing their perspective on divorce can see it without the negative judgment. That mindset paves the way for a smoother transition into co-parenting success. It also helps children accept the divorce as a challenge they have to face. But not an overwhelming obstacle they have to overcome.

Parental attitude makes all the difference.

When we focus on divorce as about change and not about blame, we give our children the ability to adapt and accept more easily. Change is a natural part of everyone’s life. Kids regularly change their favorite sports, hairstyles and hobbies. They adapt to new teachers, new classmates and new grade levels at school. They accept different academic demands as they age. Life is full of changes and good parents help their children embrace these changes as part of growing up.

When parents make their divorce about change, and not about failure, much of the shame, blame, fear and anxiety attached to divorce loses its impact.

Most all divorce professionals agree that it’s not divorce itself that scars children. It’s how parents approach the divorce that does most of the damage. Those parents who step up as positive role models make life easier for their children. They talk with their kids about accepting change and overcoming challenges. They set examples for coping with stress and conflict without overstepping boundaries. They listen with compassion to what their children are saying. This kind of loving support helps children thrive at a time when they need their parents most.

Turning a challenge into a learning opportunity.

Here are some suggestions for minimizing judgment and maximizing a positive attitude when talking to your kids about your divorce.

  • Encourage children to love and stay in contact with their other parent without guilt, shame or fear.


  • Avoid being critical when talking about their other parent and find positive things to say when referring to them.


  • Listen empathically when your children vent or express their feelings about the divorce, even if you don’t agree. Show understanding and acknowledge their right to their feelings.


  • Offer your children outside support through school counselors or therapists if they are having problems you can’t easily remedy.


  • Never lie about, distort or exaggerate information as a way of alienating or turning your children against their other parent.


  • Resist the temptation to use your children as your confidants, even older teens. Find divorce professionals to talk to.

No two divorces are the same. Nor are children all alike in how they experience or accept divorce. But they all look to us as parents for guidance in how to navigate this new and challenging period in their lives.

Parents must hone their skills in adjusting to and accepting change. They can see change  as an opportunity to do new things and have new experiences. That way their children are more likely to embrace changes related to divorce with greater ease. Parents who express resistance and lament about what used to be, suffer. They also get caught in a victim mindset of despair and helplessness. Sadly, their kids are more likely to follow suit.

With the right attitude your divorce can become a learning opportunity of immeasurable value. It will also benefit your children in the months and years ahead.

Everything in life is affected by our choices. Make the choices now that your children will thank you for when they are grown. The lessons they learn today will stay with them for a lifetime.

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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is the founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network, a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach and author of numerous books and e-courses on divorcing with children and co-parenting successfully. For instant download of her FREE EBOOK on Doing Co-Parenting Right: Success Strategies For Avoiding Painful Mistakes! go to: childcentereddivorce.com/book

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© Rosalind Sedacca  All rights reserved.