Mom! Dad! What am I entitled to in your divorce???
All too often we hear people scream in a divorce: “I’m entitled to ……. Blah blah blah“ and then it descends in to arguing or legal battles.
Indeed, there are many things the mother and father are each entitled to in the divorce.
The question isn’t: what are they entitled to. Nor is it: what price are you willing to pay for it? It’s what price are you willing to make your children pay for it?
In fact, are you not stealing your child’s opportunity to receive what they should be getting out of a divorce?
So let’s ask… what exactly should they be entitled to?
Children are entitled to:
- Equal access to each of their parents
- Consistent access to each of their parents. Having a set schedule that they can count on provides them an inordinate amount of stability
- A peaceful environment to be raised in
- Transitions and hand offs that are smooth and without acrimony
- The opportunity to relax and not be stressed by constant conflict around them
- To have parents who don’t disparage one another, even or especially if it’s truly deserved
- Not to be put in the middle over ongoing conflict
- Not to be used as spies for information
- A parent who will help them celebrate the other parent’s birthday, or mothers/fathers day. They cannot do it on their own
This is an endless list… but you get the point… every time you fight for what you BELIEVE you’re entitled to, you’re taking away from them what THEY ARE REALLY entitled to.
Parents going through a divorce most often act like children themselves. They are highly emotional, react with extremes to almost everything that happens, either taunt the other side, or allow the other party to push their buttons. NO… It’s not easy!!! That’s why enlisting expert help is essential.
So…. I’ll be perfectly blunt…. it’s time to truly grow up. NO, that’s NOT meant as a disparaging remark… rather one should try and stretch themselves to the next level. If you ARE the parent, then BE the parent.
The ability to negotiate in good faith, and ensure an equitable outcome is paramount. In the process you provide not only yourselves the opportunity to extricate yourself from the marriage, and move on, but to create a new parenting paradigm. A true co-parenting relationship.
You still have obligations and responsibilities to the children. They didn’t ask for this situation, it was thrust upon them. Learning the skills and coping techniques to traverse the divorce process is not easy. It requires a great deal of self reflection, self restraint, personal growth and without question…. Seeking out the advice of those who can provide you the tools you don’t yet have.
Don’t allow the process of divorce to ruin you. Rather, choose to utilize it as an opportunity to move to a higher level. Don’t have blinders on… Set long term goals beyond the divorce. Use the process as a stepping stone to a new future. Have the courage to capitulate on certain things and make the tough decisions to move on. Ensure you put your children first.
Remember: Everything the two of you find a way to do well together, your children will benefit greatly from. Conversely, whatever you fail to achieve and accomplish together, they lose out on.
Once again… before I end: This is a brief look at an issue with limited scope. Many readers will disagree due to exigent circumstances in their own case. You’re often correct. The key is, how do you overcome even those challenges? Enlist the advice of an expert.
David Rosenberg is a divorce coach and conflict management specialist.
If you would like assistance with mediation or coaching, feel free to contact him for a consultation. David can provide the in-depth training and on-going advice to resolve the issues.
Reduce the Cost and Conflict… Succeed and Win.