This blog was originally posted on Collaborative Divorce California.
Preserving relationships in a divorce is especially important when a couple shares children.
And whether they’re minor children or adult children, you’re still their parents. They’re going to love both of you. The last thing children want to see is their parents at odds with each other. They don’t want the conflict. They don’t want to be caught in the middle. They don’t want to have to try to choose one parent over the other. The worst thing you can do to your children, whether they’re minors or adults, is to put them in the middle of your conflict with their other parent.
In the Collaborative Divorce process, we keep the children in mind at all times.
A child specialist is part of the Collaborative Divorce team. The child specialist’s role is to help the couple understand the impact of the divorce from their child’s perspective. Even if they’re adult children, the divorce still impacts them. The child specialist can assure that the children’s needs and concerns are addressed along with the parents’ needs and concerns.
Depending on the age of your children, the level of preserving relationships may be different. If the children are under 18, you will have to be co-parenting and thinking of your children’s needs for many years until they reach adulthood, usually age 18. Even if your children are adults, in college or out of college, not yet married, or don’t yet have children, the Collaborative Divorce process is going to help you maintain at least a respectful and civil relationship with your former spouse or partner.
By trying to preserve relationships in the divorce process you can attend family milestone events, such as weddings, the birth of grandchildren, or sharing holidays together.
You don’t want your children having to choose which parent they invite to these special events and which parent has to be left out. The Collaborative Divorce process can help you have a better future relationship with that spouse and maybe you will actually end up liking each other again someday. Even if you don’t end up being friends again, at least you can be respectful of each other, and attend these events together for the benefit of your children, and not have it turn into an ugly memory for everyone in attendance. That’s one of the huge benefits of the Collaborative Divorce process that everyone should consider when they’re thinking about divorcing and why they might want to choose Collaborative Divorce instead of litigation and fighting in court.