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5 Things Divorcing Couples Can Do To Protect Their Children

Divorce is often most difficult because of the impact it has on your children. There are 5 things divorcing couples can do to protect their children and the health of their family during the divorce process.†

In the 25 years that I have been guiding couples through non-adversarial divorces, one thing is clear.† No parent ever wants to knowingly do harm to their children.†

Yet, during the emotional and sometimes confusing journey of divorce, parents sometimes unwittingly put their children in harms way.† There are a few things you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse can do to ensure that your children get the support they need as you make what is inevitably a difficult transition.

1.††††† Put your †kids first

You and your spouse must understand the importance of sharing the parenting responsibilities of your children. Realize that you and your spouse are a critical continuing presence in the lives of your children -- despite your differences.† It is essential that you put aside your differences enough to value the parenting role of your spouse.

2.††††† Donít trash talk your soon to be ex-spouse.

It is essential that you model a respectful characterization of your spouse in the presence of your children. Your children look to you to determine what behavior is appropriate. When you malign your spouse in front of your children, you actually do harm to your children. Treat your spouse with respect at all times in front of your children †-- even though this is not always an easy task and often requires tremendous restraint and discipline.

  1. Donít use your children as messengers.

Remember that your children love both of their parents.† They need to know that both of you will continue to love them despite the fact that you are divorcing each other.† Both of you need to agree upfront that you will not damage the natural and continuing relationship between your children and your spouse.† This means that you should not ask your children to carry your messages to your spouse.† If you need to communicate with your spouse, you should so directly or use the help of a mediator or collaborative practice attorney to help you facilitate that direct conversation with your spouse.

  1. Work together on a parenting plan that works for both.

The divorce coach or the child psychologist that are part of a collaborative practice divorce can be helpful in achieving the goal of source-to-source communication between you and your spouse. The coach and psychologist can help you develop a parenting plan that is flexible enough to change as the children get older. No parenting plan is ever written in cement.† However, in order for the parenting plan to evolve appropriately, you and your spouse must have an established precedent of working together for the benefit of your children.† In the end, all children want is for both parents to be actively participating in their lives. That process can begin in the very early stages of the divorce process. The earlier it begins, the better.

  1. The Dependency† exemption may be changed in alternate years

Usually, the high income parent is responsible for child support.† However, if both parents are working, keep in mind that it may make sense to share the dependency exemption. This means that each of you take †that exemption in the alternate years.† This must be in writing and may be included in your marital settlement agreement. You will need to check with your tax advisor to

Determine the best scenario for you and your spouse.

Remember that divorce is a very difficult time. However, it may also be an opportunity that affords you and your spouse the chance to re-imagine your lives and create new opportunities. You can co-parent your children, you can even dance at their weddings, share graduations, and become co-grandparents.† It is important that your divorce process lay the foundation for shared participation in all the significant events of your childrenís lives.

Collaborative Practice or Mediation is a new way to divorce that provides a healing bridge to the future.† The healing often lasts for generations.† The choice is yours. The best California divorce attorney is the one who will respect you and the family that you and your spouse have built together.† I can fill that role for you.† I am the mediation attorney walnut creek who will walk you through the peaceful divorce process.† To find out more about the services that I can provide for youArticle Submission, call me at 925-932-7026.† Let today be the day that you start the healing process.††

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†I am the mediation attorney walnut creek who will walk you through the peaceful divorce process.††To find out more about the services that I can provide for you, call me at†925-932-7026.††Let today be the day that you start the healing process.††

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