A Simple Answer to a Complex Problem: How to unblock a divorce impasse?

Simple Answer to a Complex Problem:  How to unblock a divorce impasse?

Most couples reach an impasse over the issue of custody/parenting plan for their child(ren). Parents fight over their child(ren) but in the process deeply hurt them psychologically and emotionally. The severity of the conflict may cause a parent to kidnap their child or even resort to violence. Escalating anger, distrust of one another, anxiety…and inability to look at the conflict from the perspective other than your own lead to enormous attorney fees, court hearing that go nowhere, more conflict, and a very unhappy child. So, what can be done?

The answer is quite simple but one that requires a skilled mediator to implement. Couples at an impasse must look at the conflict through the eyes of the child. However, before an honest look may occur, each parent must confront their own issues of trauma, loss, and abandonment.  You have to acknowledge your own suffering

Most of us have been hurt at some point in our lives; either as children or somewhere along the way. Most of us left those hurts unresolved, but pain from a trauma, loss, abandonment (i.e, betrayal) takes a front and central seat in our psyche. It sleeps most of the time until there is a trigger. The pain of divorce/separation triggers a past pain in a way that can make one lose all common sense, rational thinking and perspective.  Since past and present pain affect self-esteem, child custody battles become battles of the egos. If you think you are fighting in the name of “best interest” of your child, you are only kidding yourself. Nothing is done to take care of your emotional suffering and everything is done to destroy emotional well-being of your child.

A skilled mediator can effectively help conflicted parents look at their own pain and its roots leading to an understanding of their actions, their triggers, and their reactive approach to the problem. Parents can then start shifting their attention from themselves to their children in a true and honest way. They can start looking at their child through his or her eyes. Instead of burdening the child with conversations about the divorce, court hearings, judge’s decisions, etc., you can start really talking with your child about their feelings about what they are experiencing. Your child’s loss, fear, anger, despair is as real as your own. Children perceive our emotional states and process emotions in their own way using information available to them at their current mental development.

When both parents can acknowledge their child’s emotions without projecting their own feelings a true transformation is possible. The issue stops being a tug of war between the parents of who gets the child when but instead the issue becomes one of logistics i.e. what can we do as parents to help our child through this? what does our child need at this moment to feel better?

Child-focused mediation is the key to resolving impasse and high-conflict situations.  Compassion yet firm guidance during the mediation process can stop the vicious cycle of conflict and lead to a resolution of your child custody dispute. If not achieved in mediation, the alternative of “battling it out” in court will be devasting…to your child.

Most couples reach an impasse over the issue of custody/parenting plan for their child(ren). Parents fight over their child(ren) but in the process deeply hurt them psychologically and emotionally. The severity of the conflict may cause a parent to kidnap their child or even resort to violence. Escalating anger, distrust of one another, anxiety…and inability to look at the conflict from the perspective other than your own lead to enormous attorney fees, court hearing that go nowhere, more conflict, and a very unhappy child. So, what can be done?

The answer is quite simple but one that requires a skilled mediator to implement. Couples at an impasse must look at the conflict through the eyes of the child. However, before an honest look may occur, each parent must confront their own issues of trauma, loss, and abandonment.  You have to acknowledge your own suffering

Most of us have been hurt at some point in our lives; either as children or somewhere along the way. Most of us left those hurts unresolved, but pain from a trauma, loss, abandonment (i.e, betrayal) takes a front and central seat in our psyche. It sleeps most of the time until there is a trigger. The pain of divorce/separation triggers a past pain in a way that can make one lose all common sense, rational thinking and perspective.  Since past and present pain affect self-esteem, child custody battles become battles of the egos. If you think you are fighting in the name of “best interest” of your child, you are only kidding yourself. Nothing is done to take care of your emotional suffering and everything is done to destroy emotional well-being of your child.

A skilled mediator can effectively help conflicted parents look at their own pain and its roots leading to an understanding of their actions, their triggers, and their reactive approach to the problem. Parents can then start shifting their attention from themselves to their children in a true and honest way. They can start looking at their child through his or her eyes. Instead of burdening the child with conversations about the divorce, court hearings, judge’s decisions, etc., you can start really talking with your child about their feelings about what they are experiencing. Your child’s loss, fear, anger, despair is as real as your own. Children perceive our emotional states and process emotions in their own way using information available to them at their current mental development.

When both parents can acknowledge their child’s emotions without projecting their own feelings a true transformation is possible. The issue stops being a tug of war between the parents of who gets the child when but instead the issue becomes one of logistics i.e. what can we do as parents to help our child through this? what does our child need at this moment to feel better?

Child-focused mediation is the key to resolving impasse and high-conflict situations.  Compassion yet firm guidance during the mediation process can stop the vicious cycle of conflict and lead to a resolution of your child custody dispute. If not achieved in mediation, the alternative of “battling it out” in court will be devastating…to your child.