Monthly Archives: December 2010

How Will Your Children Tell Their Parents’ Divorce Story?

Collaborative divorce will give you and your spouse the most control over the story your children grow up to tell about when their parents separated.  Collaborative divorce will allow you to craft that story every step of the way and plan for your new family structure into the future, years beyond your divorce.

Psychologists and conventional wisdom now tell us that the story that children internalize about their parents’ divorce has a profound and pivotal effect on their lives as they grow up and into their adult lives.  Children tend to hold on to the stories they are told and integrate them into who they are.  Those stories can affect your children’s ability to have meaningful relationships as they become adults, and their view of marriage and divorce.  Divorce is now reality for more than half of all children and families.  Normalizing that story will help your children feel better about who they are and how they fit into their family unit.

The typical divorcing parent will tell their lawyer or family psychologist that the children are just fine and that they are adjusting with no problem through the divorce and all the changes that are happening in their lives as a result of the split up of their parents.

To a child, divorce is more than their parents splitting up and no longer living in the same house.  Divorce is a restructuring or a fragmenting of their identity.  Children identify their parents as a unit, and they strongly identify themselves within that unit.  When that unit breaks down, it is natural for them to feel fragmented or as if they have no real sense of identity or security.

A heated divorce that is hashed out in the court system often creates an adversary win/lose dynamic where there should be none – in your family.

In the collaborative divorce model, couples are able to complete their divorce with the assistance of attorneys who advocate for them and work as a team with other professionals, including a child expert who is neutral and advocating for the entire family, to resolve their cash-flow, parenting, and property interests without letting the court decide what is in their family’s best interest.  Collaborative divorce facilitates the evolution of your family through the process, creating the space for you to remain an intact family into the future.

No matter how you choose to navigate your divorce, you will share your children for the rest of your lives.  You will be together at your children’s weddings, graduations, christenings of your grandchildren, and other important family events.  What better gift is there to give to your children than a loving and kind divorce story where the main characters want to do what was best for the entire family and maintain a stable, loving life for them?

Attorney Dana L. Boyle is a trained collaborative divorce attorney in Kenosha and Racine Counties in Wisconsin, focusing her practice on advocating the greatest kindness in divorce.  If you are seeking or answering a divorce, speak with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.  To contact Dana Boyle, please call 262.412.0806 or email

This article is for general information purposes only.  It is not intended as legal advice and it does not constitute establishment of an attorney-client relationship with anyone who reads it or an attempt to create an attorney-client relationship.  Keep in mind that the law changes frequently based on legislation and case law.  If you have a legal issue that relates to this article’s subject matter, please consult with a licensed attorney to determine your individual rights and to clarify the law with respect to your particular set of facts.  If you live in another state, please consult a licensed attorney in your state.  Dana Boyle is licensed in the state of Wisconsin.


Leave a comment

Filed under Divorce