Monday, October 19, 2009

Who Pays The Highest Price In A Divorce

Let face it, a divorce is like a death in the family. It is the death of the marriage that brought together two people in love, soon to be followed by the children. It is no exaggeration to say that after the divorce the family will never be the same again.
  • Often, in the early days of the marriage we are too busy getting the other person to “choose us” so we can live happily ever after. There are bad habits early on in the relationship we never see. For instance, leaving dirty clothes scattered around, drinking directly out of the milk bottle, putting a dirty knife back in the drawer, and washing is too much effort. Both sides hide their bad habits when they begin dating.
  • Like clockwork the novelty of marriage wears off, and the fantasy life fades into the ordinary life of making a living, as the couple grows together in a relationship. Unfortunately, about 60% grow apart during the marriage.
  • When the marriage ends each party tries to pile all the blame on the other. All hopes, dreams and commitment cherished by both sides, go up in smoke. In the tumult, they forget that the children of this relationship have yet to lay the foundation of their lives.
  • A divorce is devastating for children. Their warm and safe world is suddenly shattered in many pieces like a broken toy. In the heat of a divorce, do the parents really stop and think about the children? All too often, the children fall under the invisible heading of “power base” or worse yet, “negotiable”.
  • During a divorce parents are keeping score of their children affection as though they were at a sporting event. Each parents fear losing ground to the other, and are doing everything to stop the other from chipping away at their “power base”. This is an automatic reaction during a divorce, yet if only parents would stop for a moment they will realize that children have unconditional love for both parents.
  • The foremost responsibility of parents in a divorce is to be constantly mindful that they are role models and teachers to their children, and this means not putting down the other parent, or using the children to emotionally beat up the other. Still the important matters of drawing up and signing of legal documents have to be done.
  • The divorce lawyers seek out personal, confidential information about you, only to file it in a public record for the world to see. Attached to this public record filing is a detailed financial description of personal property and assets acquired during the marriage.
  • Buried somewhere in the divorce agreement, the children are listed, like an asset, by name and age. And on yet another page, you will find detailed information on who gets custody and who gets visitation rights, on what days, with specific times and for how long. Can’t forget the holiday schedules, this appears on yet another page of the divorce decree.
  • If parents would think for a moment and get off their “got you” high horses, they should be able to work out these very private details among themselves without inviting the whole world to watch them beat up upon each other.
  • Months, and in some cases years later a judge sits before them, in a court of law, and ask if all parties are in agreement, and with the tap of his gavel, signs the divorce decree.
  • The tragedy of a divorce is that the two people who created it can thereafter go their separate ways taking with them nothing more than the memories of a bad marriage. But the problems for the children of that marriage have just begun.
  • The children’s sense of what is normal has been shattered. Their father and mother were suppose to live together forever: what happened? They must now shuttle between two homes to see their parents. Sometimes they find themselves confronted with the impossible task of settling disputes between their parents. They must now learn how to deal with a stepfather and stepmother, whom, so far as the children are concerned could well be total strangers.
Without question, the children pay the highest price in a divorce. Consequently, it falls upon society - since the parents may not be willing or capable of doing so - to provide an environment in which the children of divorce could receive age appropriate counseling for a period not less than two years on understanding why divorce happen, how to cope with the psychological effects of divorce, and how to eventually overcome them.

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