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Divorce and Custody Law, the self licking ice cream cone industry. Volume two-The search for (In)Stability.

May 16, 2018

 

Consistently in my practice I hear parents in a divorce making the claim they are trying to maintain stability for the children. Typically this is done as some form of weapon against the other parent by making a claim they are not stable due to housing, employment, or the always used, "they have never done this before."  The problem is parents are searching for stability in an inherently unstable environment. From the children's point of view their world was stable with both mom and dad in the same house, yet now the adults have decided to end this stability and have forever shattered the stability for the children. 

 

So, how do you find stability in an unstable environment? Well adults, you will have to make it by not dissecting every little thing the other parent does that you do not like, by not criticizing the other parent in front of the children, and by realizing that it will take time to put back together the stability that was destroyed. 

 

First, regardless of the emotions the adults feel during the litigation they must realize the children are even more emotional and confused than you are. They have no understanding of what is happening or why; they simply know mommy and daddy no longer live in the same house. 

 

Second, the adults may very well be angry with one another, and may have reason to be; however, do not let the anger cloud your vision. Parents consistently want to use past behaviors to rationalize how the parent will behave in the future. What I mean is I see parents reaching to the past to make claims like, "he never has taken care of the children," "he never took them to school or the doctor," "she never work just stayed at home," etc. 

 

Marriage is a partnership, and in the partnership parents will fall into set roles and responsibilities. Sometimes these are planed and sometimes they are not. Regardless you will typically see one parent as the primary bread winner, one parent always driving to school or appointments. When parents make the decision to end this partnership then both will now have to take on some of the roles and responsibilities of the other. 

 

Stability is what you make it. Divorcing forever alters the life of the husband and wife. Suddenly you are an "ex." Your marital status does not revert to single when you fill out forms, it becomes Divorced. As adults you can move on and get a new place, get a new job, and even get new friends. But the children are left with the same mom and dad who now don't live in the same house, same neighborhood, or maybe not even the same town. 

 

Do not let your anger, pain, and past grudges form an environment of continual bickering, criticisms, and hate. Your children will see it and feel it. They will not understand why you are mean to a person they love and you will merely perpetuate the instability of their childhood. 

 

So you tell me how is any of it stable?

 

Its not, stop looking for stability in an inherent unstable environment. Get through the litigation, rebuild your life, create stability in each of the new homes and work together. Fashion the new world in which your child must live by being nice, yes being nice and respectful will go a long way to creating stability for your children.

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