Question One - What's in the best interest of the children?
The Holiday Season is often followed, in February, by the decision to divorce - The Decision.
Deciding to divorce is not easy. Yet, in Massachusetts, the Decision to do so is made in about 50% of marriages.
For couples with young children, the Decision must consider the young children. Young children are those who have not graduated from high school.
Often unknown, or unappreciated, the Decision has an indelible and devastating affect on young children.
Divorce is often seen as the death of a child's family, at least as the child has known the family. This death can result in outcomes including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder like pain and depression.
So, it is an important decision with important ramifications.
In the lives of young children, no decision of their parents can have a more negative effect than the decision to divorce. And, that is exactly the reason couples should take a few extra steps before the Decision.
First, the couple should talk alone about the Decision.
"But, we can't talk! That why we're divorcing!"
Well listen, if your child was lying in an emergency room and the two of you had to talk and make a decision, would you talk and make the decision?
If your answer is "Well, of course", well, in your child's life, this is just as important an emergency.
Talk! Talk about:
Is divorce the only choice?
Is divorce the only answer?
Is divorce necessary now, while the children are young?
Can you think outside the box?
If you can't talk, then talk with a professional. Yes, it is that important in the lives of your children. And, if that professional "just isn't right," try another and another.
If you have done all you can to keep alive the family your children know and, still, divorce is necessary, then do it the right way.
Anthony Adamopoulos is an attorney, mediator and arbitrator.