Is a good divorce possible? After 30 years of experience helping families cope with divorce and remarriage, Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego member Dr. Constance Ahrons believes it is possible.
Dr. Ahrons works with those navigating through a divorce and its aftermath as coach, mediator and/or therapist. She is among the earliest champions of collaborative divorce.
Constance Ahrons is a best-selling author of the books “The Good Divorce” and “We’re Still Family,” and co-author of the highly regarded book, “Divorced Families.” An acclaimed speaker, she he has been featured on numerous national television interviews.
Dr. Ahrons is deeply interested in the welfare of the entire family, particularly children, who are facing the challenges of divorce. If your divorce involves children, Dr. Ahrons suggests following these rules to help everyone cope and move forward in the most healthy way possible.
Ten Golden Rules for a Good Divorce
1. ACCEPT THAT ALL-OUT WAR IS NOT INEVITABLE.
In fact, it is destructive. Mediation and Collaborative Divorce are two choices that aim to reduce anger between divorcing spouses.
2. STAY IN CHARGE OF YOUR DIVORCE.
Remember, this is your divorce, not your lawyers.
3. SLOW DOWN THE PROCESS
Although adults often want to move on quickly, remember that children need time to adjust.
4. ACCEPT THAT YOUR CHILD NEEDS–AND HAS A RIGHT–TO BOTH PARENTS.
Even though you’re angry with your spouse, remember your children’s needs.
5. COOPERATE WITH YOUR EX FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR CHILDREN.
It’s one of the best gifts you can give your kids. Ongoing conflict between parents increases children’s distress.
6. DON’T BADMOUTH YOUR EX IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN
When you badmouth your ex to the kids you are telling your kids that the part of them that is like their other parent is bad too. It is bad for their self-esteem.
7. DIVORCE IS NOT THE END OF THE FAMILY
It’s important to your children’s well-being for them to feel like they still have a family. Help them to understand that the divorce means that they are now a dual-household family.
8. RECOGNIZE THAT COMPROMISE IS ALWAYS NECESSARY
This is key to helping to reduce your anger.
9. LET YOURSELF FACE AND GRIEVE YOUR LOSSES
One of the big losses is the loss of future dreams. Just beneath your anger is sadness over the losses of those special things you might have hoped for in your future.
10. LET THE ANGER GO—AND MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE.
Holding on to hostility and anger is self-destructive. It keeps you stuck in the past and keeps you from finding new joys in life.