The Message from Children to their Divorcing Parents

“Show us that you can work together even if you don’t’ like each other anymore!”

When you allege in a public court document that your spouse has had an affair, what does that do to your children? Even if it is true, children need to be protected from their parents’ emotional conflicts.  For some examples of how parental conflict adversely affects children, see these drawings from children of divorce.

Children (of all ages) want their parents to collaborate and not litigate to resolve the terms of their divorce. What children yearn for goes well beyond the usual method of starting out in court and settling “on the courthouse steps,” as the majority of divorce cases do. What they want even goes beyond hiring a mediator to facilitate a cooperative agreement.

See this page for more information on the Collaborative Divorce process.

When it comes to divorce, the collaborative model of dispute resolution is a unique gift to children, because it puts children’s needs first. In collaborative divorce, no matter how angry parents might be at one other, if they can keep their children in the forefronts at all times, and have a supportive team of professionals helping them do so, they can avoid the emotional damage to children that so often accompanies a non-collaborative divorce. Children, even adult children, can appreciate their parents working together, despite the deep and upsetting conflicts between them. Children can continue to see their parents as the good role models they once were as conflicts are resolved through collaboration rather than warfare.

Another distinction involves whether collaboration means giving in to the other person, or one person sacrificing for the sake of the children, while the more vocal parent gets his or her way. The collaborative process insures that both parties walk away with a mutually-acceptable agreement, not a lopsided one. Both parents are important to their children and children want to be free to love both of their parents without qualification. The two collaborative process attorneys are committed to this concept, as are the neutral coach and financial professional who are part of each case.

Parents who choose a divorce process that focuses on a positive co-parenting future and one that helps parents communicate about their children going forward provide their children with a gift that will last forever. Please collaborate, and don’t litigate, to resolve your marital issues. Your children will thank you.