When it comes to social issues, it’s a toss-up as to which issue can create more damage: alcoholism and drug addiction; or, divorce?
Is this an extreme comparison? No, both of them are very common today and can have similar end-stage effects on children. All too often one leads to the other. The point is, that while alcoholism is looked down upon, divorce has become an accepted part of life in today’s society.
Yet both situations have a major impact upon all members of the family. The ones who tend to suffer the most are usually the children, however, because they are usually caught in the middle.
If you research the literature on divorce, you will find that marital breakups are blamed as the cause of everything from crime to mental problems.
The effects of divorce on children were usually portrayed in a negative manner during the early to mid-20th century – Charlie and Alan in the TV Show “Two and a Half Men” is a classic example.
But back in the real world, the high divorce rate has become responsible for some of the new terms used to describe family relationships. Terms like “wife-in-law”, “husband-in-law” and “baby daddy”.
Today, the high divorce rate is creating a whole new type of extended family. The idea of positive parenting in this extended family is becoming the new approach.
The 70’s TV show “Eight is Enough” led the way in demonstrating how families can become close with time, effort and love. However, any divorce starts with how it is handled from the beginning and the attention and love you give to your children during such a difficult period in yours and their lives.
This blog attempts to tell you as much about divorce as possible (both the positive and negative) and the effect it has on everyone, including the children.
Everyone involved can survive it. The pitfalls you will have to navigate are emotional, physical, financial, social and legal and it can all leave you feeling somewhat overwhelmed.
These pitfalls will leave your children feeling the same way. But, does it have to be this way? The answer is no. With a positive attitude, some forward knowledge and attention, a divorce can be handled quite successfully and the children can often be spared the majority of ill-effects commonly associated with it.
There is also a need to look at the issue of dissolving relationships which fall outside of the realm of legal marriage such as common-law relationships, also known as “domestic partnerships”. This type of relationship is on the increase and so is the number of children produced by them.
Ending these relationships can be just as confrontational as a standard divorce and may have a corresponding impact on a child’s stress levels. You can minimize this stress and protect your children no matter what type of relationship is being dissolved.
In some future articles, you will learn about preparing for a divorce. It assumes that you have already tried counseling, trial separations or other methods of reconciliation and that none of them have worked and that the only option left is to dissolve the marriage.
We are going to look at how the process of going through a divorce can affect your children. We are going to spend even more time going through the emotions and learning to understand them. It is important for you to understand emotions in order to deal with your children’s behavior and even your own and that of your soon-to-be ex-spouse. There will be a heavy focus on
positive communication with all of your family members.
And finally, some other articles will teach you how to plan for a non-confrontational divorce. Non confrontational and low-conflict divorces have a much lower impact on children and the rest of the family.
This blog also includes some of the legal issues involved with both uncontested and contested divorces. It is not intended to be completely comprehensive and should not be taken as professional legal advice nor should it be used in place of the advice given by a licensed attorney or solicitor.
The legal rules of divorce vary from country to country, state to state, and often, from court to court. It is strongly suggested that you consult with the relevant legal practitioner who specializes in family law in your own state or country before proceeding into the legal area of divorce.
The general legal outlook of this blog is based on American cultures, however, many of the principles that will be discussed could apply to any culture where divorce is legal and accepted. Just remember that this book was written by a social scientist, not a attorney.
The legal process is just one part of the many challenges you will face.
Do keep in mind, however, that the key theme of this blog is to keep conflict and confrontation as low as possible. You can do this by constantly examining your attitudes and emotions and their resulting behaviors.
You will be presented with common problems that can occur during the divorce process. As each problem is discussed, the horrific effects of not dealing with them will also be explained. More importantly, you will be presented with proven solutions to those problems and given examples on how a divorce can affect your children, both the positives and the negatives.
You will also be given some thought-provoking questions to help guide you during your divorce. This blog is aimed at helping you successfully navigate the chaos and to protect those you love
We will be discussing how to keep things as positive as possible before, during, and after the divorce. We will look at children’s emotional issues with the aim of recognizing their potentially negative behavior and learning how to deal with it appropriately.
It also helps if you can learn to recognize your own potentially negative behavior, how destructive it can be and learn to overcome that, too.
This will be followed up with information on how to negotiate your final decree. How you handle the out-of-court interaction between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse is very important. The decisions you make in your dealings together and the actions you take will have long-term effects on your children.
Finally, we will talk about recovery. The good news is that there is life after a divorce despite how you may feel right now. It can be a new beginning and a chance to start over.
It is important to realize that divorced families can raise emotionally healthy children. You have a choice.
Will the problems that caused your last divorce be the ones that trigger your next one?
Can you overcome the bitterness and distrust to find a healthy relationship in the future?
Will your children suffer long-term effects or will you nip potential problems in the bud?
The only one who can answer those questions is you. This blog will show you how to turn what could be a major disaster into a simple pothole in the road. Once you’re over it, then the rest of the trip will run smoothly.
This blog will also help you discover how to be a good parent after the divorce and the challenges you will face of parenting in a divorced family. Maintaining good relations with other family members will also be explained and is extremely important to you and your children as those family members can be a useful set of resources to help your children adjust to their new living arrangements.
We will also look ahead to the future where your divided family will morph into an extended one and it is important to realize that these relationships are going to be both complicated and important.
Follow us in the future for next articles.