Monthly Archives: June 2013

June 5, 2013

Divorce with Child(ren): Minimize the Damage by Focusing on Commonality.

Going through a divorce with a child(ren) can be brutal, no matter how right the decision may be.  However, you can minimize your pain, as well as the child’s pain, by finding commonality.

Commonality is defined as a feature or characteristic held in common.  You would think in a divorce where a child is involved that the shared feature or characteristic between the parties would be obvious, but often it is not.  Typically, when parties are at the point of divorce, emotions are extremely raw and high, making it challenging to see anything other than the worst in the other party.  That is why it is essential to have an attorney who can see the commonality when you can not.  Your attorney should minimize the fuel to the fire, not add to it.

Last week I was the mediator on a highly contentious divorce with three children.  The general consensus seemed to be that finding commonality to a level which would allow the parties to settle, versus go to Court and let the judge decide, was nearly impossible.  However, the parties settled.  The turning point came when it became apparent that the parties shared a desire to be fair in the time each parent was able to spend with their children.  That desire was just masked by a lot of negative emotions.  But once the parties were able to focus on their shared characteristic, that being the desire for their children to spend ample quality time with both parents, they were empowered to come to agreement. 

If you are going through a divorce with a child, or about to go through one, make a list of what characteristics you and the other party share.  Do you want your child to attend a specific school?  Is it important you both be present at school and extracurricular activities?  Do you  desire for your child(ren) to have TWO healthy and stable parents active in their life?  Once you make your list, approach each issue from the point of what you have in common.  Ultimately, that should assist you in minimizing the hurt of a divorce and creating a better situation for all.