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Divorce Proceedings Can Be Kinder, Gentler

Divorce Should Not Be Adversarial, For Kids’ and Your Own Sake

divorce proceedingBecause divorce represents the end of a romantic relationship and domestic partnership, the logistics of divorce can feel like an attack. However, if you and your spouse choose to file for divorce, it is important to remember that your feelings may be negative, but the divorce proceeding does not have to be terrible.

If you and your spouse are filing for divorce, and you have children, it is especially important to remember their feelings and thoughts during this time. Whether the children are very young, or grown up, they can be deeply hurt by the separation of a pair they relied on for stability. Although you may not want to, you have to maintain a sense of stability with your ex-spouse for the sake of your children.

It is important to maintain a stable home life during and after a divorce. Make sure you maintain routines that you established previously, like school pick-up times, afterschool activities, visits to friends, and family dinners. Maintaining structure can help your children and you through this difficult time – stability can be very reassuring when much of life changes.

Although you will not want to be the other parent’s “cheerleader,” it is important to make sure your child knows that your ex-spouse is a good influence. Unless there is a direct safety reason why your ex-spouse should not be in your child’s life, such as physical or sexual abuse, you must do your best to applaud your ex-spouse’s parenting, so you still seem like a parenting team to your children. You should, as much as possible, encourage your ex-spouse to help you in this endeavor. If there is a history of abuse, you should still consider your child’s feelings and avoid speaking ill of your former partner in front of your children.

It is also important to explain to your children that you and your former partner are getting a divorce, but avoid animosity or details. They do not need to know the emotionally tumultuous reasons behind your divorce, if there are any. Relationships change, and that is what is happening when you divorce.

In New Jersey, a new type of divorce proceeding has been passed into law, specifically to help families avoid attacking each other out of defensiveness, and come to the best agreement possible. “Collaborative divorce” might sound like a new-age procedure, but Governor Chris Christie signed this new divorce proceeding into law, and proponents of this type of divorce proceeding believe it to be faster and less costly.

“There are people who believe only an adversarial relationship works in a divorce,” said Denise Wennogle, a Morristown family law attorney and mediator who practices collaborative divorce most often in her practice. “I do not.”

“We all quickly realized that divorce is not just a legal event,” said Talia Katz, CEO of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. “It’s an emotional event. It’s a financial event.

“Probably our biggest population of members in the U.S. are on the coasts,” she added. “Collaborative divorce has really taken off on the east coast, west coast, and in Texas, Florida, and Georgia. Now it’s making its way toward middle America.”

The Divorce Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm Can Help

If you are filing for divorce in South Carolina, you will not only suffer emotional turmoil, but you will also need to gather paperwork to divide property and figure out custody of children. The South Carolina divorce attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand how trying this time can be, and are here to help. We offer free, confidential case evaluations, so contact us today for help with your divorce. 803.252.4800



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