It’s not often that I would turn to Kris Kardashian for insight on divorce but these comments given in a recent interview will ring true with most people: “I think the most important thing I learned through my experience, both of my experiences, is that the kids come first,” she said.
“If you keep that in the front of your mind and know that they are going to get you through, the love is going to get you through, you know, no matter how much you’re hurting.
“I used to put everybody to bed, and then I would be upset or go to my room and cry myself to sleep. But I didn’t want to have a pity party in front of the kids,” she continued.
In the UK today it is more than likely that you – and your children – will have friends or relatives who have who have divorced or separated.
Fortunately, the majority of separations do not end up in the courtroom, but it is not always the divorce itself that can create problems for their children, but rather the way in which the divorce is dealt with and the level of conflict to which the children are then exposed.
It is widely accepted by family psychologists that one of the most destructive patterns of behaviour that children experience at this stressful time is observing one parent criticise the other. The children have worked out that as they are genetically made up of both parents, if one of them is “bad”, “selfish” or “stupid” then they must be as well.
Unfortunately, when tensions are running high in litigation and the parents are receiving letters from their respective solicitors on a weekly (or more frequent basis) it is sometimes difficult for them to keep calm and shield their children from what is going on.
Most parents will try their best not to involve their children and are successful, but there are others that I have come across that are incapable of doing so as they are so blinded by the hurt and anger that they feel.
In doing a lot of mediation and collaborative work I have found that the outlook for the children in these cases appears – on the whole – to be much brighter.
Most of my clients who choose the collaborative law process spend a lot of time (and rightfully so) in the meetings discussing their relationship with the children and how they would like to see the arrangements work for the future after they are separated from their partner. In a traditional family litigation this can sometimes be overlooked whilst the couple are thinking about the points that they can score against the other in terms of their parenting skills, or on financial matters.
The collaborative law and mediation processes allow each parent to discuss, in a safe environment, their fears, concerns and hopes for the future and how they would like to see the children’s relationship with each parent evolve. This is so much more important and productive than arguing about who gets what and trying to carve out exactly which hours and minutes of the child’s day gets spent with which parent.
There are many family therapists and other specialists available to assist and support both parents and the children through the process. These professionals and support groups provide valuable advice and insight into the affect that the change is having on the children and how best to cope with it. There are also many excellent courses available.
In my view these professionals are still under-utilised and consideration should be given in almost every case, to whether the children would benefit from the involvement of this support alongside the legal process.
Whether that will be a solution Kim Kardashian and her recently separated husband Kanye West will adopt remains to be seen. Given the clan’s TV history we’ll mostly likely be given an opportunity to see how it all plays out for their children, North, Saint, Chicago, and Psalm.
It was reported here by Cosmopolitan that a new TV show putting Kim’s side of her divorce story is due to be aired in Spring 2022. According to Forbes, the pair will divide their assets based on the terms of their prenups – Kanye is said to be worth approximately US $1.3 billion and Kim US $900 million.
However, in the media storm that followed the announcement of the celebrity couple’s split, the 30-year-old star has apparently been concerned about the privacy of her children.
My advice to her regarding that is pretty straightforward.
Don’t put them on a reality TV show – and heed your mother’s guidance: put your children’s needs first.
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