Kajko, Weisman & Colasanti, LLP

Divorce ceremonies can help preserve family relationships

Divorcing couples in the Boston area should be aware that divorce mediation can help preserve positive family relationships. More and more divorcing couples are beginning to understand that a "fight to the finish" attitude can do long-lasting damage. It is especially important to limit the potential strain on family relationships when there are children involved. Using divorce mediation instead of a more adversarial approach is one way that couples are trying to protect their children from the most difficult aspects of divorce.

Another way couples are trying to protect their children is by participating in divorce ceremonies. A divorce ceremony mirrors a wedding ceremony in that there is a trained officiant, and couples write and recite pledges to each other and sometimes to their children. Unlike vows of marriage, divorce vows allow the partners to let go of their marriage roles while preparing for the co-parenting roles they will share after the divorce.

Divorce ceremony facilitators sometimes like to have parents print out their pledges for the sake of accountability. That way, kids can point back to the divorce pledges when parents need to be called out on their behavior. Divorce ceremony proponents feel that this accountability can protect family relationships.

Because it can be difficult to navigate divorce without damaging these relationships with children, it is important to reduce interpersonal conflict whenever possible. Non-adversarial options for divorce, such as divorce mediation, are helpful in this regard. And because family relationships go on long after a divorce is finalized, it is essential to preserve positive connections as well as financial security during the divorce process.

Source: TODAY Moms, "Will divorce ceremonies make parents' split easier on kids?" Jacoba Urist, April 25, 2012.

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