How Collaborative Divorce Keeps You From Weaponizing Your Children

protecting kids

Any family law attorney that has handled even a few traditional divorces can tell you that children suffer the most. Adults don’t come out unscathed, but at least the adults have some perspective and understanding of what is happening in their lives.

This article by a Psychologist gives a good description of the major ways in which children are weaponized by adversarial divorce. Children are often placed in the middle of a divorce. And the adversarial, tug of war nature of traditional divorce processes leads many parents to dangerously alter they way they behave with the kids. In my experience, this is often out of a fear of losing connection with the kids, losing time with the kids, a or sometimes just a protective instinct carried beyond the bounds of reason by hurt, grief, and anxiety. I have never experienced a situation in which a parent was trying to hurt the kids. But all family law attorneys have seen parents who were hurting the kids through misguided weaponizing.

The best way I know to avoid weaponizing the kids is through a collaborative divorce. This process is designed to minimize the fear and anxiety that comes with combative, sharp-edged negotiations. When the tug of war dynamic is bypassed in favor of a shared problem solving approach, the need to “build a case” and fight evaporates. When there is no combat, there is no need for weapons, and no need to weaponize your children.

Divorce, no matter how negotiated, is difficult for children, and for parents. But adversarial divorces that weaponize children as part of the combat creates far greater risks for those children.

If you want to avoid weaponizing your children in divorce then research your options for negotiating your divorce. Pay attention to whether those processes pit parents against each other and encourage weaponizing kids or instead structure the negotiation to work together in problem solving the most effective solutions, thereby protecting the kids.

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