"but not unaltered"

Divorce Is The Beginning, Not the End

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I don’t love divorce or the sad process of splitting a family in half. I am often asked, “When are you going to get over your divorce?” But that’s not the right question. For the most part, I don’t spend a lot of time fretting over my ex-wife and her ongoing shenanigans.

Passionate Divorce Coaching

I am passionate about divorce for one reason, the kids. If I can provide support for either parent going through a divorce, I will continue to be “all about divorce” for a bit longer. I am also actively supporting the Father’s Rights non-profits who are attempting to push US Family Law to value dads equally.

Here are a few milestones of divorce that provide opportunities to wake up your passion for “doing the divorce right.” Couples don’t get married and have children with anything less than 50/50 parenting expectations. Why should it change so dramatically when divorce and money are brought into the lifetime partnership? You don’t ever get to escape the nastiness or the hopefulness. The path toward a loving co-parenting relationship requires both parents to be engaged and positive. A dysfunctional ex, for example, can wreck future cooperation between the parents.

  1. Divorce is raised as a possibility
  2. Coaching or counseling to save a relationship
  3. Divorce becomes the plan
  4. Negotiating money and time with the kids
  5. Negotiating power and control
  6. Co-parenting the early years
  7. Co-parenting with middle-schoolers
  8. Co-parenting with high schoolers
  9. Co-parenting with college kids
  10. Co-parenting at weddings and grandkid birthday parties

What I’m hoping you will see from this daunting list, your marriage may end, but parenting never ends. And if you are vindictive and bitter, your legacy will have that tone. If you are attacking your former partner and current co-parent for *any reason* you need to read some Brene Brown and get your own shit in order. Sure, ex-partners can be crazy, angry, and irrational. But they are still going to be your co-parent long after the rage and bad behavior have poisoned any cooperation. It’s a shame.

My ex is so bitter, for the divorce she forced, I have learned to ask no questions, venture no great ideas, offer no support. So, it’s better for our kids that we’re not fighting. But the kid’s mom is not an ally. How does that happen? When does being right and being angry have any positive effect on your kids?

The Future of Parenting After Divorce

I work with men and women in all stages of parenting. I work with couples who need to settle some issues and build a trusting process for disagreements. How you argue really does determine the success of the interaction. If I can facilitate cooperative co-parenting between a man and a woman, I will continue to fight for their kid’s health and wellbeing. Co-parenting should begin before you have children. Even as you start talking about having kids, starting birthing classes, and taking birth control out of the picture, you are making a lifetime commitment to your FUTURE CHILDREN.

As adults, we need to deeply agree to 100% shared parenting. This can start before kids arrive. And, even more importantly, as the marriage winds down, both parents should agree to 50/50 shared parenting. It’s better for your kids. And, believe it or not, it’s better for you. Even if you have the opportunity to go for 70/30 parenting with child support and a non-custodial co-parent, it is my belief that this imbalance does not benefit the children. I think my ex-wife might have been happier had she not aborted our 50/50 plan when she got the permission she wanted from her lawyer, our “parenting plan” psychologist, and society as a whole.

I believe in the sanctity of both parents and their ongoing relationship with their kids. The relationship that will last the rest of your life, and/or the life of your kids.

You will all survive this, but not unaltered.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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a good dad's guide to divorce

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