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Your Divorce Advisor

YDA Newsletter #1

Thank you for signing up for the Your Divorce Advisor newsletter! This is issue #1. A "housekeeping" note before we start: if you've received this newsletter in error, or you've received it twice, please let us know and we'll remove your name immediately.

This is not an automated service provided by a big, anonymous company. We're just two professionals who feel strongly about what we do, and this list has been assembled by hand from the many (thank you!) positive responses we've received via our web site.

If you like our newsletter, and if you like our book, please tell your friends about it. Word-of-mouth is important for a book like ours, because helping people with simple, sane solutions and practical, down-to-earth information isn't always splashy enough for TV and magazines.

It's people like you, one at a time, helping one another, that helps to get the word out….and we thank you for that!

Very truly yours,
Diana Mercer, Esq., and Marsha Kline Pruett, Ph.D., M.S.L.
authors of Your Divorce Advisor

Many of you wrote with great suggestions for future newsletters, but we thought we'd start with the topic that most people suggested first: how do I help my children through the divorce?

Divorce is Back in the News...Here's What You Can Do for Your Family

Prior to 1970: Divorce is bad for children
1970-2000: Divorce is better for children than living with two parents who fight
Now: The new news is old news: Divorce is bad for children-sometimes.

The new news is old news...divorce is bad for children. While it's tempting to say that children are better off in divorced but peaceful families, that's not always the case. Researchers agree that in the immediate aftermath of divorce, most children hurt.

But are children also hurt in the long run? Or is it possible that divorce is better for children than living in families that fight? Much of the answer to that question depends on how the parents behave during and after the divorce, and whether their actions are centered around the children's best interests, or their own adult motivations.

Telling the children that you are divorcing will be one of the most difficult moments of your life. Doing it together, as a unified front, is by far the best way of taking care of your children. Start with a simple statement that you are divorcing. Keep it simple and clear; remember that once they hear the "D" word, they won't be listening to much detail.

Explain that you have tried everything you can think of to work out your marriage, but that it is necessary to live apart. Emphasize that you tried to work out your differences, but that it is not possible.

Remind them that that they are not losing either of their parents, and that you both love them, and will continue to love them. Reassure your children that they will have access to both of you, as well as extended families and friends.

Once the decision is made, the decision about how to proceed legally is also a key element influencing how the children will fare during the divorce. A bitter, contested divorce case will negatively impact the children both emotionally and financially.

The stray negative comments about each other, the stress of the fight, and the parade of lawyers and mental health professionals which will enter your children's lives will change them forever. My dad got the house, and my mom got the bank account, but all I got was a new therapist.

Many contested divorce battles cost more than a child's college education, ensuring that the devastation felt by the family is not only emotional, but financial as well.

One of the best predictors for how children fare after divorce is the level of conflict between their parents before, during and after divorce. Conflict can operate both at the legal level, and the day-to-day level.

For More Information please read Chapter 7 "Taking Care of Myself and My Children" in Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce. Available at and at bookstores everywhere.

Next Newsletter: Changes in Bankruptcy Law