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Divorce and the Holidays: Instead of Asking Adult Children to “Grow Up,” Ask Them to Mediate

It might be tempting for parents to ask children to suck it up and deal with their parents’ choices after divorce, but adult children still have needs and feelings. Ignoring them can lead to strained relationships and conflict. This piece on an adult’s child experience of the holiday period is a poignant reminder of the deep feelings adult children can have when it comes to their parents’ divorce.

Instead of wheeling in new partners and expecting that “the show must go on,” parents can factor their children into their divorce plans and negotiations. If a divorce is particularly contentious children can even be part of the negotiations.

Planning

One of the main benefits of choosing mediation for your divorce is that you can plan ahead. If desired, the process can be about much more than asset division and legal separation. Divorcing couples can develop a “divorce calendar,” for holiday events, a gradual exit strategy if still living together and agreements about “what ifs,” such as how to introduce new partners to family. The mediators at BCS have psychoanalytical expertise and often work on complex and flexible parenting arrangements involving families who have relocated or have international ties.

A Holiday Schedule

Parents of young children have to develop a plan to care for their kids. Parents of older children no longer have to look after them but may want to develop a light touch schedule and code of etiquette. An alternating holiday schedule could determine where the kids spend their time during the holidays so no one feels left out. If the whole family is still able to come together, a code of etiquette about partners can be included. Adult children will need to be consulted in this process.

Still Your Kids but Not Kids Anymore

There is a difference between negotiating with an adult child who is clinging to the dependencies of childhood, and a child who simply wants to be heard (though there may be an overlap). The mediators at Boileau Conflict Solutions often use game theory to help everyone in mediation discover their real interests and break deadlocks and conflict.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

We are caring, well-educated mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. We can either confidentially present you with a private analysis, or mediate the conflict with both of you until resolved. Any resolution you come to will be informed by a deeper analysis of the conflict that can be psychoanalytic and/or more financially-focused. The sooner you can resolve your conflict, the sooner you can begin to craft a sustainable future for you and your children. Our high-level divorce mediation services are tailored to the needs of people with complex lives or divorces that may be difficult or protracted. We work with individuals from several cultures and countries, and can help with national and international relocation issues associated with divorce. You can visit us at our offices in Campbell, CA, Irvine, CA and San Diego, CA. We can also be reached by Telephone, Zoom or Facetime. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

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