Saturday, April 25, 2015

Divorce and Family Law: Put On A Happy Face

One of the most difficult issues that some parents face when dealing with divorce, custody, or visitation is the pick-up and drop-off.  In addition to logistical problems (who drives where and when), the exchange is an emotional trigger for all involved.

One frequently used adage by judges is that both parents need to "put on a happy face."  In normal circumstances (absent health and safety issues), even if there's a profane litany of thoughts about your ex in your mind, and your child is expressing their reluctance to go, your outward expression needs to be something to the effect of "you're going to have so much fun."  It is similar to school.  Even if you didn't like going to school, and your child doesn't like going to school, you make them go and try to sound positive about it.  

On return, you welcome them back.  If you ask questions, they should generally be positive and geared towards reinforcing the exchange as a positive experience. The drop-off should not be followed by a debriefing trying to dig up negative information about the other parent.

Kids look to their parents for guidance about how to feel about situations. If you show that you're scared, nervous, or upset, then they may feel scared, nervous, or upset.  

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