father daughter after divorce

Divorce Happy

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Years ago, I was trying to publish a book called Positive Divorce. I couldn’t push an agent or a publisher into a deal. Today, I’m rewriting this book with a new title.

Divorce Happy

This new title has more positive momentum.

Before the divorce: as you or your spouse have mentioned divorce, it’s time to get clear about your goals. If you navigate a positive divorce, perhaps it will be happier and better for everyone. Plan for happiness and build a parenting schedule that will value BOTH mom and dad equally.

During the divorce: stay focused on the outcome you want to achieve as a newly single parent. Want more time with the kids? Make provisions in the parenting plan that give the co-parent a “first right of refusal” if you’re going to hire a babysitter for the night. This could be a win-win. Your kids get more time with the other parent, and you don’t have to pay the extra bucks for a sitter.

After the divorce: you can find even more happiness after a divorce. I never imagined I would be saying this, but I’m happier now, 12 years after my divorce. It’s taken a long time to heal, a long time to find a healthy partner, and it’s going to take a longer time to heal the relationship with my son. But I am as happy as I have ever been.

Know Your Parenting Goals

If you can agree that both parents are equally important in your kids’ lives, finding a 50/50 shared parenting partnership can really help your co-parenting future. What is your goal as a parent? Can you serve your co-parent by being a better partner than you were when you were married? YES. Yes, you can.

My goals were 50/50 parenting. My ex-wife led with that idea but pulled a ninja coup weeks before we finalized the divorce. She went for the divorce package that Texas awards to moms over 80% of the time.

My goals for being a single dad:

  • quality time with my kids
  • minimize the damage and drama with their mom
  • keep the money and legal discussions in the adults-only vault
  • 50/50 shared parenting

I did not get what I wanted. But I did abide by my own plan. Even as my ex-wife was working against me, I maintained a positive spin and a positive attitude, and I learned to never strike back at her when she was being a bitch. Never.

Negotiate with the “Best Interests of the Children”

Most of the time, “the best interests of the children” was a buzz phrase that meant their mom was going to ask for something that was in her favor. It wasn’t ever about the kids. The entire divorce was about my ex-wife and her own demons. She’s got to live with them now.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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here comes the darkness by john oakley mcelhenney
Now Available from Amazon

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