The Kids Come First in Divorce


  • Author Jeremiah Denslow
  • Published January 24, 2010
  • Word count 497

Divorcing couples are not famous for getting along discussing any issue dealing with their children. This is the best time for co-parenting classes.

Divorce isn’t easy on anyone, but it hits the kids even harder. Keeping a civil tongue in one’s head becomes an extremely difficult thing to do. Using the kids as pawns to get what one parent wants can become an ugly reality, putting the kids smack dab in the middle of something over which they have no control. Children don’t need to bear the brunt of two adults who can’t keep their disputes to themselves.

These days many divorcing couples are beginning to try and find other alternatives to battling it out in front of the kids. Enter co-parenting classes. Many of these classes have taken what appeared to be an impossible situation and turned it around, for the sake of the kids. That is the whole focus of these classes, what is best for the kids and how the parents can set aside their problems for them.

Mostly the focus of the well attended classes deals with showing parents how to handle those inevitable conflicts that crop up when it comes to issues with the kids. This of course usually happens even more often "after" the split. The anger and frustration needs a place to go in more positive ways, and the parents need to learn to problem solve as a team before things break down into an all-out war.

Basically, co-parenting teaches the adults to cope better with disagreements and to diffuse difficult situations; techniques that are very beneficial for the kids. The kids need to see that the parents, even though they are divorcing, are handling things in an adult and civil manner; still presenting themselves as positive role models. The trick to these classes is that the spouses are taught to consider their exes in business terms.

Thinking in business terms means having a polite relationship and communicating in brief and more formal ways. The spouses provide each other space, don’t get too caught up in the other’s life and in general, are courteous and thoughtful. In other words, just like a business relationship.

The co-parenting classes are also all about not bringing the kids into the middle of any disputes the divorcing couples may have. To that end, there is a very interesting take on what it means to be critical of your "spouse" in front of your children. Being critical of the spouse is also criticizing the child who is the result of that union in the first place. Put another way, the parents are taught they are role models for their kids and don’t think otherwise because those children watch you like a hawk every day.

The real lesson here is that it’s not the kids’ fault, so don’t load that guilt onto them by involving them in matters that adults should be dealing with during a divorce.

Jeremiah Denslow is a Dayton Divorce Lawyer in Dayton Ohio with Denslow Law Firm. The firm specializes in family law. Jeremiah also practices Dayton criminal defense. To learn more, visit

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