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Why It’s Important To Put Children First During Divorce

Why It's Important To Put Children First During Divorce

 

I’m not one of those experts who believe that divorce has little significant effect on a child’s life. I’m of the opinion that divorce can set a child up for lifelong emotional struggles. The divorce of a child’s parent leaves them with negative emotions they will deal with throughout their lives in one way or another.

Yes, they learn to adjust to the fact that their parents are divorced but, the sadness caused by the divorce lessens with time but never goes away. On top of the regret, a child feels over a parent’s divorce there can be devastating consequences if the parents do not handle the divorce in a responsible manner.

I bristle when I hear parents say that children are “resilient” and can “handle” their divorce. I’ve talked to adults who were devastated years after their divorce was finalized, yet for some strange reason they believe that their children are more capable of getting over and learning to live with a situation they, themselves are finding hard to accept and move on from.

It is this belief by parents that children resilient that sets children up for disaster when their parents’ divorce. A child’s divorce experience is shaped by whether or not parents continue to put their children’s well-being and security first during the divorce process.

Why it’s Important to Put Children First During Divorce

Divorce means huge changes in the lives of children. It can also mean direct involvement in conflict between parents, changes in where they live, economic hardship, broken bonds with a parent, loss of emotional security and a multitude of emotional stressors.

Divorce means the loss of a child’s family, something that is the center of their universe. If a child is raised in a happy or low conflict family, that family is the base of their security. It is what allows that child to go out into the world and broaden their horizons because they know there is a safe place to return to.

The loss of an intact family is like a death to the child. There will be a period of grieving and a need to replace, with something new the security they had in the intact family.

Divorce increases a child’s risk of psychological, educational and sociological problems. A parent’s divorce touches every aspect of a child’s life. A child’s relationships with friends will change and their ability to focus and concentrate in school will be affected. As a result, there is an increased possibility of problems with anxiety and depression.

Divorce causes children emotional pain. Regardless of how hard a parent tries and how well they parent, a child will feel sadness and loss during and after a divorce. Your divorce is going to hurt your children! And please, don’t fall for the nonsense belief that if the “parent is happy, the child will be happy.” I promise you unless your child is witnessing or a party to domestic abuse or high conflict the child could care less if Mom and Dad are happy.

Some parents have a misguided belief that their children are spending time and energy worrying about their happiness. Nothing could be further from the truth, children are concerned with their own happiness and security, as it should be.

So, please, don’t project your need to divorce so you can be “happy” off on to your children. You will do them no favor and it will free you up to ignore their pain due to a skewed belief that is not correct.

What Are The Negative Effects of Divorce For Children?

If you contrast children from intact families to children of divorce, children from divorced families are:

  • Twice as likely to have to see a mental health provider,
  • Twice as likely to exhibit behavioral problems,
  • More than twice as likely to have problems with depression and mood disorders,
  • Twice as likely to drop out of high school before graduating,
  • Twice as likely to divorce themselves as adults,
  • Less socially competent and tend to linger in adolescents before moving into adulthood.

Andrew Cherlin, a family demographer at Johns Hopkins University, said that even those who grow up to be very successful as adults carry “the residual trauma of their parents’ breakup.”

In other words, when we, as adults make the decision to divorce we are going against our natural parental instincts…protecting our children from harm. Some would argue that divorce in and of itself does not cause harm to children. They believe that it is the behavior of the parents during a divorce that determines how a child will fare or what the consequences will be.

I agree that as parents we can lessen the negative effects of divorce on our children. There are obligations that parents have during divorce that can help our children cope. The issue I have though is this, during my career as a therapist who has worked closely with divorcing clients children seem to take a backseat to their parent’s needs during that time.

Parents are more focused on the legal process of divorce and their own emotional needs than their children’s needs. Until I see a change in the way the majority of parents behave during a divorce I will hold onto my belief that children are irreparably harmed by divorce and suffer due to parents who are unable to parent and divorce at the same time.

The post Why It’s Important To Put Children First During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Children Experience Divorce Differently than Adults

Children Experience Divorce Differently than Adults

Children of divorce are at a greater risk for psychological problems.

The post Children Experience Divorce Differently than Adults appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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We Divorced But Our Family Thrived, Especially Our Children

We Divorced But Our Family Thrived, Especially Our Children

 

We divorced. It felt like I was jumping off a cliff and taking my children with me. I was bad now. I was to blame. I felt ashamed.

At the same time, my brother was also getting divorced, which meant my mother was going through the breakup of both her children’s marriages. This was very tough on her. My mother had raised us by herself with no help from my father. None! At that time, a single woman raising children on her own was practically unheard of. When my mother finally saw both her children marry lovely people and have beautiful children of their own, she felt relieved that things had turned out well.

But with two divorces pending, it was all coming apart. We were all so sad and angry. The children were in the middle of all this strife. My mother had always been my rock, but now she too was slipping off the cliff, we were all struggling.

I slowly pulled myself together and began thinking of my children’s wellbeing. I once heard a woman, who was talking about her very young children after her divorce, say, “If I’m okay, then my children will be okay. If my needs are met, then I can take care of them.” I think she had it backward. In my view, “If my children are okay, then I’ll be okay. If my children’s needs can be met, then I can take care of myself.”  This became my motto.

I had young children at home and they were at the mercy of me and my decisions. I made a lot of mistakes at first. I began my search for better role models and a better way to do this.

We shifted our focus and although divorced, we realized we were going to have to figure out how to be a family and how to develop a new family structure going forward.

My former husband and my mother had a very close relationship. He had become like another son to her, and they really loved each other. He had helped to make our family stronger and more connected

We wanted to keep our family together as much as possible. Most of all our children were looking for stability and reassurance. So we did our best to be together as a family with the children on holidays and at school functions.

We helped each other meet our children’s needs.

We did it for the sake of the children. We did it for the sake of the whole family. I did it for myself too. We weren’t married anymore, but we had children together and so we were still a family and we needed the support of our extended family more than ever.

I remember thinking at some point that when people divorce they leave each other, not the family. But that wasn’t the message I was getting from my divorced friends or in the media. According to them, divorce was supposed to be like a war zone. We didn’t want to live like that, and we didn’t want to subject our children to that either, so we began creating our own set of new rules to live by. It was the silver lining to a very dark cloud.

We had to be pioneers because we weren’t seeing many examples of healthy post-divorce behavior around us.

We really had to create a relationship based on our own sense of what was going to make our family thrive. I personally had to keep turning inward for direction on how to act, what to say, and how to go on from where I was. This self-reflection proved invaluable in the process of being a parent.

One of the first important things we did as parents of two children was to make it abundantly clear that just because one parent left their spouse, they did not leave the family. It is the grown-ups who are no longer able to live together. It is so important to reassure the children that the love they feel for each parent is still reciprocated and the relationship between them and each parent is therefore strong and protected. I learned that it’s so important to remember to help your children feel loved by both parents even if you are not feeling that way yourself.

As part of a blended family myself, I’ve learned it is best to take a conscious approach to life in a tribe. I’ve encountered all kinds of things that keep me growing and inspire me to turn inward in an effort to be more self-reflective. It is not always easy, but over the years, I’ve realized that in our blended family, I’m but one leg of the table. I’m very important, but the other three legs are just as important for the table to be strong enough to hold all of us. I try to let everyone deal with what they are bringing to the table while I keep my focus on what I can bring. I’ve adopted a meditation of sorts.

These thoughts help keep me focused. It works for me.

If I can remember that I’m not always in control…

If I can give others grace when I feel trespassed upon…

If I can forgive and allow myself to have healthy boundaries…

If I can forgive and allow other family members to have healthy boundaries…

If I can speak up when I need to speak up…

If I can listen to others when I need to listen…

If I can avoid rushing in and pushing my agenda…

Then the family will find its own balance.

One of the things we chose to do differently from most of the family examples we were seeing was to gather as a family for holidays or special school events as well as birthday celebrations.

As long as our children were young and living at home with us, we chose to include all of us. We didn’t trade off years or make the children choose where to go or whom to invite for a special occasion.

And my motto in those circumstances, if there is any discomfort, which there was, became:

 “If anyone is going to be uncomfortable in the room let it be me, not my children or other family members”

 It is my divorce and I must take the initiative and bear the changes with mindfulness so that my family and my children can all be together for these times.

When the going gets tough, we help each other. Maybe it was out of necessity at first, but it soon became normal for us as we became a blended family. Instead of waging war, we have created and provided resources for each other and for our children. In this family, I continue to find grace, love, and understanding.

The post We Divorced But Our Family Thrived, Especially Our Children appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Parents, Rape Victims & Children Use Social Media to Catch Dirty Divorce Lawyers

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Mocking government lawyers and judges on social media brings victims together

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Divorce Attorney Valerie Houghton was indicted three years ago and is rumored to being given special treatment by Rosen

Santa Clara County has been violating ADA laws and victims rights for decades. Judge Mary Ann Grilli was previously sued for her unconstitutional conduct, and Grilli’s favorite divorce lawyers; Bradford Baugh, Hector Moreno and Valerie Houghton engaged in rampant tax fraud, as well as abuses of appointments for private judges, custody evaluators and minor’s counsel. 

James Towery, former Chief Trial Counsel at the State Bar has been protecting lawyers like Houghton, Baugh and Moreno for decades. Jim Hoover, Donelle Morgan, Walter Hammon  and Bill Dok have been implicated as well, along with newcomers Heather Allan, Jessica Huey, Jennifer Mello, women lawyers willing to get appointments and discipline immunity the old fashioned way: On their backs. 

Judge Robert Hayashi  and Judge Lori Pegg have been drinking from the same water cooler with Towery and Jeff Rosen’s wife, Amber Rosen, excepting that disregard of the law would be protected based on the good old boy network operating Silicon Valley Courts. In return, Jeff Rosen has given judges a free pass on public corruption and taxpayer waste investigations. Front and center in the cover up is Jeff Rosen’s top prosecutors including David Angel, John Chase, Jay Boyarsky and even former reporter and public information officer Sean Webby.

One victim of attorney Nat Hales described who  Hales, along with other divorce lawyers including Michael Smith, Neville Spadafore, Robert Redding, James Cox , Ed Mills and Irwin Joseph have rigged divorce cases, bankrupted families and promised favorable outcomes for sex and cash payments in Santa Clara County divorce cases through private judging cases that gouged families and children for hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen has prosecuted parents for minor child support and custody violations, while he ignored systemic corruption in the county’s family courts. 

Victims subjected to years of abuse by divorce lawyers overcharging, selling homes and raiding retirement accounts and who were ignored by mainstream media have turned to social media and memes to tell their stories and expose corruption. 

Social media has also  drawn the attention of Facebook, Netflix , and Google, who have faced legal and media attacks for their publishing of stories that many victims know to be true. 

Q is seeking stories and support from union employees in law enforcement and county agencies, as well as Oracle, Cisco, Netflix, Google, Yahoo and Paypal in order to expose corruption in Silicon Valley’s family courts. Email us your story, or send us contacts to tech and social media companies willing to help catch these career criminals. 

CalJohnQPublic@gmail.com

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The Ways in Which a Narcissistic Father Can Harm His Children

The Ways in Which a Narcissistic Father Can Harm His Children

We take our mom and dad for granted; like this must be what it’s like for everyone. Your dad may have been narcissistic, but you just assumed that all fathers were like him.

The post The Ways in Which a Narcissistic Father Can Harm His Children appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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The "Best Interest" Doctrine Fails Our Children

How The “Best Interest” Doctrine Fails Our Children

The "Best Interest" Doctrine Fails Our Children

 

During divorce, a judge will use a doctrine known as “the best interest of the child” to determine issues such as child custody and visitation of any minor children. It is a subjective, discretionary test, in which all circumstances affecting the child are taken into account. The word discretionary is important because, although states have laws defining what is meant by “best interest” of a child a judge has great leeway in determining the above issues.

For example, in the state of Tennessee custody and visitation provisions state, “In taking into account the child’s best interest, the court shall order a custody arrangement that permits both parents to enjoy the maximum participation possible in the life of the child consistent with the factors set out in subdivisions (a)(1)-(10), the location of the residences of the parents, the child’s need for stability and all other relevant factors.”

Those “other relevant factors” are:

  1. The love, affection and emotional ties existing between the parents or caregivers and the child;
  2. The disposition of the parents or caregivers to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, education, and other necessary care and the degree to which a parent or caregiver has been the primary caregiver;
  3. The importance of continuity in the child’s life and the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment.
  4. The stability of the family unit of the parents or caregivers;
  5. The mental and physical health of the parents or caregivers;
  6. The home, school and community record of the child;
  7. The reasonable preference of the child, if twelve (12) years of age or older;
  8. Evidence of physical or emotional abuse to the child, to the other parent or to any other person; the court shall include in its decision a written finding of all evidence, and all findings of facts connected to the evidence. In addition, the court shall, where appropriate, refer to any issues of abuse to the juvenile court for further proceedings;
  9. The character and behavior of any other person who resides in or frequents the home of a parent or caregiver and the person’s interactions with the child; and
  10. Each parent’s or caregiver’s past and potential for future performance of parenting responsibilities, including the willingness and ability of each of the parents and caregivers to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and both of the child’s parents, consistent with the best interest of the child.

How The “Best Interest” Doctrine Fails Our Children

As you can see, the majority of the factors used by a judge to decide custody and visitation arrangements are quite subjective. A judge’s personal feelings and opinions are more than likely what will determine a case, not a true legal standing in family law.

When the application of “best interest of the child” ends up being based on nothing more than judicial discretion it only makes sense that those who argue the need for a new standard in determining these legal issues may be the ones who are, in reality, the only ones concerned with the “best interest of the child.”

The standard is supposed to promote uniformity and take into account the rights of a child to a loving relationship with both parents. Instead, it is often criticized because it is easily manipulated by family court judges. Some who argue against the “best interest” doctrine say that it is nothing more than an excuse for the courts to interfere with private family issues and has little to do with the welfare of children.

Regardless of the broad discretion given to judges and the potential for its abuse the underlying goal of the “best interest” standard in family law shouldn’t be ignored. It is, after all, all we have at this time in family law that attempts to advance the rights and welfare of our children.

The post How The “Best Interest” Doctrine Fails Our Children appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Why High Conflict Divorce Damages Children

Why High Conflict Divorce Damages Children

Excerpt from Children and Divorce “Children would rather be from a broken home than live in one.”  Dr. Phil According to statistics, two-thirds of children who reach the age of 18 can expect to live in a divorced home. Divorce causes children to lose something that is crucial to their development, “the family framework”. The […]

The post Why High Conflict Divorce Damages Children appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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if you abandon your child

If You Abandon Your Children, I Don’t Want To Hear About Your “Father’s Rights”

if you abandon your child

 

A couple of years ago the Huffington Post ran an article the day before Father’s Day that got the Father’s Rights guys a bit upset. But when a woman writes an article about a less than perfect father those guys normally respond with dismissal, disdain, and disregard so that was no big surprise

In their mind, if you say something unpleasant about one father you have offended every father. And, they love to make excuses for deadbeat or absent fathers and that excuse normally runs along the lines of, “its all moms fault.”

One comment caught my attention due to its astounding show of immaturity and it’s representation of how I feel some men attached to the Father’s Rights movement respond to divorce and custody issues.

I had printed out the comment and came across it again while Marie Kondoing my house. It still, to this day has the same impact on me.

“Divorce court is a woman’s court. Your man bailed out is probably just like me, it is far better for the children for the father to disappear than to be used as a punching bag by the mother, courts, society, and in the end, the children.”

Granted the grammar is bad but if you try hard you can make sense of it. Evidently, this comment was made by a father who has chosen to “bail” on his children, as did the father who was the subject of the Huffington Post article.

If You Abandon Your Children You Have NO Excuse!

What I find astonishing is the reason the commenter has bailed. He didn’t want to be used as a punching bag by the mother, the courts or society. I had no idea until I read that, that paternal instinct, fathering and loving one’s children was depended upon a mother’s actions, the court’s actions or the actions of society.

No one forced him to leave his children. Nothing happened to cause him to lose his role as a father. He may have had divorce forced upon him along with a custody agreement he wasn’t happy with but, really, is that any reason to choose to no longer father your children?

It’s like saying, “you people were mean to me so I’m taking daddy away from my children.” The guy actually punished his children by withdrawing from them as a father for something someone else did to him. And, in his mind, he thinks he has done his children a favor.

Why can’t I wrap my mind around this justification? Probably because it is irrational and totally out of touch with what his children needed from him REGARDLESS of how difficult he found it to remain in their lives.

Plus, in my experience with divorce, I’ve known of the inability of the Family Court system to deal appropriately with the issues of divorce, custody and all things related BUT, at no time have I formed the belief that that was any reason to bail on my child.

The Problem With the Father’s Rights Movement:

Their seedy underbelly is too vocal and in being so they reflect poorly on the Father’s Rights movement and men who don’t abandon children for any reason. There is a small fringe of this movement that has declared war on women and children and that fringe keeps those who are truly concerned about their rights as fathers from being taken seriously.

Nothing will change in our dysfunctional Family Court until mothers and fathers work together to change the system. As long as some members of the Father’s Rights movement insist on accusing women of victimizing them via the court system and excuse each other for abandoning their children, women and mothers will have no interest in working with them in any capacity.

If men want shared or 50/50 custody of their children they are more likely to change custody laws if they are working in union with women and mothers, not blaming them but working with them. Men, women, and children are harmed during divorce. A lot of that harm comes from a system that is in dire need of reform. That reform isn’t going to take place if fringe elements of angry men are allowed to continue to spew venom and anger from their keyboards.

Let’s face it, as parents, we can’t get what we all want for our children, what is in their best interest until we all come together and stop blaming each other.

The post If You Abandon Your Children, I Don’t Want To Hear About Your “Father’s Rights” appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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