Divorce Doesn’t Wreck Children’s Lives, Tension Does – San Diego Divorce Mediation & Family Law

Divorce Doesn’t Wreck Children’s Lives, Tension Does – San Diego Divorce Mediation & Family Law

Parents often ask us, where do we begin once we’ve made the decision to divorce in San Diego. Where you begin is with your children because they began with you. Face it, because your children are part of your life, you and your spouse will always be part of each other’s lives too.

Now we do have some good news for parents who may just be starting to explore divorce. That is, evidence has now established that your divorce will not inherently impact your children negatively. That antiquated notion is now debunked. In reality, studies conclude that the amount parents argue after divorce strongly affects a child’s adjustment. So the key is to reduce the tension, anger, and fighting between parents during and after the divorce.

We encourage you to read Dr. Constance Ahrons books about divorce. She was on the forefront of the research which established with little doubt that parental conflict is the most harmful aspect to children. Arguing in front of your children will have an impact and so this means that a divorce can actually help a child who would otherwise be exposed to continual conflict. But that of course presumes that conflict is reduced as a result of the divorce. That’s where your chosen process and professionals come into play.

Do you surround yourself with “sharks” as we often hear people refer to “tough” attorneys? Well, the thing about a shark is that once you let them in the cage, everybody gets bloody. You really need to think about what type of professionals you want to put on your team and how they will impact your relationship with your spouse.

Children whose parents divorce and then continue fighting are hit with a double whammy

Remember, the less conflict your child experiences, the better a child is able to adjust. And in turn, the more conflict that surrounds a child upon separation, the more difficult adjustment a child experiences. This latter point means that children whose parents divorce and then continue fighting are hit with a double whammy. It is not easy to nurture children during divorce, a time often associated with mourning and loss. We understand how difficult this is to accomplish and so our advice is not to simply do this but to set yourself up for success in a way that allows you to accomplish the objective of reducing conflict for you and your children and improving your lives.

Whatever your differences may be, the question at issue is whether you and your spouse as parents can agree that you don’t want to hurt your children. Will you and your spouse work together to make the process as easy as possible for them? If your spouse was the one who initiated the divorce, you likely are feeling rejected and angry. But even though this person rejected your life together, this does not mean that he or she is not a loving capable parent. Studies have shown that where two available loving parents exist, children adjust best to spending time with each other. Acknowledging that this rejection of the marriage is no reason to limit or end your spouse’s parenting role is one of the first steps you need to try to take.


To accomplish the objectives laid out above, we advise all parents who have chosen to separate to enter the mediation process for their divorce. There are excellent options for divorce mediation in San Diego, including, of course, us. While not all couples will be able to successfully mediate their divorce, most certainly will and that process and decision will leave them better able to communicate and resolve conflict amicably in the future. And their children will thank them.

In terms of discussing the divorce with your children, here are some of the considerations to discuss with your spouse beforehand:
– When will we tell the children?
– Will we tell them together?
– Who will tell them what?
– How should we share time with the children during the initial separation period?
– How should we split up holidays?
– Where will the children live?
– How will we transfer the children for visitation or between homes?
– Where will we each live and what is the timeline for establishing two homes?

Please contact San Diego Divorce Mediation & Family Law to discuss your separation and divorce options.