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The Divorce Encyclopedia

Term Definition Children - must come first.
Application in Divorce Young children suffer enormous sadness in a divorce. After a divorce, parents must rise to the occasion. This is not easy. Parenting is hard enough in an intact family; in a broken one, it is even more so.

All too often, children of divorce become proxies in a continuing war between their parents. Even when the parents make a good faith effort, all too often children end up in a no man’s land, caught in a crossfire between battling spouses.

A child loves his or her parents by the entirety, and nothing hurts a child more than seeing his or her parents fight. Very often children blame themselves for the parents’ divorce, and they often are tormented with idea that somehow they can effect a reconciliation of their parents.

By the time a marriage ends in divorce, spouse frequently care for their children more than each other. Married or divorce, parents love their children so much. Children of the marriage are visible reminders and living proof of the high hopes the couple once had for a marriage that would last forever. From the alchemy of lost love and hope comes the anger and bitterness that can make divorced parenting even more difficult.

Even though the parents are no longer spouses, they remain parents forever; each must deal with the other in facing the responsibilities of parenthood.

After a divorce, a major factor in recovery of children is the way the former spouse get along. A parent who continues to relive old hurts and injuries harms himself or herself and the children. Anger and guilt drain energy and imagination a divorced person needs to start anew.

Both parents must make certain that a child has a suitable place to live, adequate supervision, reasonable discipline, nurturing and affection; yet one of the parents, the noncustodial parent who is usually the father, must do his part long distance. A good parenting plan can help, but even more than this, a measure of selflessness on the part of both parents -- a willingness to go the extra mile -- helps enormously.

Former spouse must remember that anything that alleviates the pain of the children is worth the effort.

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