Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Conflict resolution may avoid parental alienation after divorce

More and more parents across the country, including in Massachusetts, are committed to protecting their children from nastiness during a divorce. Many divorcing couples recognize the fact that emotional scarring in high conflict divorces can affect the remainder of their children's lives, and these parents choose to utilize available methods of conflict resolution. The egos of the conflicting spouses can cause self-righteousness and defensiveness and may lead one parent to make allegations against the other; all of this can lead to parental alienation, and sadly, those who suffer most are usually the children.

While parents may feel justified in distancing themselves from their former spouses, the psychological impact on children who generally love both parents can be enormous. Hearing one parent putting down the other one by making disparaging and disrespecting remarks can create insecurity, fear, guilt and anxiety in children. Divorcing parents who focus on themselves rather than working out ways to maintain loving relationships with their children may risk alienating their children from them.

Fortunately, there are professionals who can help divorcing couples overcome contentious issues through divorce mediation. An experienced mediator can facilitate communication and compromise between conflicting spouses, with the ultimate goal of reaching agreements that will accommodate the wishes of both parents while also protecting the best interests of the children. The attorneys of both spouses can participate in the mediation meetings by contributing valuable input while ensuring the legality of any agreements that are reached.

Massachusetts couples who are struggling to reach important agreements may find comfort in learning that, with the help of an experienced attorney for each spouse, flexible and workable solutions can be achieved. Add an experienced mediator to the team, and an out-of-court divorce agreement may be reached. The combined skills of attorneys and a mediator may assist in conflict resolution related to property division and all matters related to child custody, visitation and parenting plans and more.

Source: howdoitellthekids.com, "Parental Alienation -- a Divorce Disaster Sure to Alienate Your Children", Rosalind Sedacca, Accessed on Dec. 5, 2015

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