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BUILD BRIDGES OF UNDERSTANDING TO IMPROVE DIVORCE AND POST DIVORCE CIRCUMSTANCES

The process of divorce can be smooth or bitter depending on how you handle relationships. The same is true for the post divorce experience, particularly where co-parenting situations are involved. One of the greatest moments in my career came when I witnessed a client of mine in church having her children from two different marriages baptized with both the fathers and former husbands standing together at the alter. This miraculous event took place because I had counseled my client to “build a bridge” with her former husband and stop the post divorce war. I did this by suggesting she take the new wife of her former husband out for a glass of wine. She gladly accepted and a bridge between families was built.

Whether you are in the divorce process or the post-divorce process, look for “bridges.” If the parties are gripped in mortal combat, look for another way to bridge the gap. Perhaps there is a sister, brother, uncle or parent with whom a relationship exists. I often ask my clients, “What is your relationship with his/her parents?” If there is a good relationship there, then that can be a place to start to build a bridge to the opposing party.

For more techniques for building bridges, see my book, The Constructive Divorce, published by the ABA and available at ababooks.org.