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Advice to a Parent on Reducing Harm to a Child During Divorce
The Do's and Don'ts of a Divorce
I have written you this letter to explain ways in which you can help reduce the harm your son Keith suffers during your divorce from Martha and, at the same time, increase your chances for obtaining a favorable result regarding your case.
If you are sometimes tempted to criticize Martha in Keith's presence, your feelings are natural. You may, in fact, have good reasons for doing so but it is important not to for this reason:
So, as you can see, the major Don't is "Don't criticize Martha in Keith's presence."
Here are some of the other Don'ts:
Here are some of the Do's:
The custody and visitation issues in your case may be easily resolved or may necessitate substantial litigation. I will vigorously defend your rights. In fact, the advice contained in this letter is the first step to our obtaining a successful result in your case. Judges are very impressed by efforts parents make to shield their children from emotional harm. If you follow the suggestions in this letter, you will be the good guy in any mediation, psychological evaluation, custody investigation or custody/visitation court hearing in your case. Expressing your anger about Martha to or in front of Keith will be detrimental to your case, as well as to Keith.
Please maintain a confidential journal describing in detail any instances of Martha's failure to practice proper parenting. Examples of her failures include her doing any of the Don'ts described in this letter.
The court may order a 30-day stay of dissolution of marriage proceedings when it appears that there is a reasonable possibility of reconciliation. This is up to the judge and is typically only exercised when one spouse comes forth and states that he or she would like to try to save the marriage through counseling.
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