Domestic Diversions

Keep your children out of the middle of your divorce

The Wall Street Journal uses the divorce of Robin Williams and his wife, Marcia Garces Williams, to remind us of the effects of divorce on children.

Stephanie Coontz writes (excerpt):
But a growing body of evidence suggests that normalizing divorce and surrounding it with expectations of cooperative behavior is far better for everyone than the two extremes of trying to prevent people from divorcing at all or encouraging them to “win” or prove fault in a divorce dispute. Especially when children are involved.
Poor impulse control, antisocial behavior, disengaged parenting, contemptuous behavior toward a partner, and untreated physical or mental problems all make couples more likely to divorce. But each factor also raises the likelihood of maladjustment in the children even if the parents stay wed. Sometimes divorce, however painful, is the best outcome for a poorly functioning family.
And it’s not just the financial toll [averaging less than $7,000 for divorce mediation, less than $20,000 for a collaborative divorce, nearly $27,000 for a lawyer-negotiated divorce, and about $78,000 for a fully litigated divorce]. When a parent maximizes his or her emotional position by undermining a child’s respect for the other parent, this “victory” carries long-term costs. Researcher Paul Amato notes that children who report being put in the middle of their parents’ problems are less likely to be close to either parent as they age.

One thought on “Keep your children out of the middle of your divorce

  1. Heather Drescher


    I may be able to offer some help…I’ve recently illustrated the children’s book “You and Me Make Three” which is sold in conjunction with B.B. the Bear (manufactured by Build-A-Bear Workshop). On each page is a Parent Tip from the court mandated SMILE Program co-authored by Richard S. Victor (an Oprah Show alumni). My partners and I (all divorced women) are certified in the Sandcastles Program by M. Gary Neuman, M.S., LMHC (Oprah’s “Go-To” expert). We believe that educating both parents and children with the help of our book will open lines of communication between the two. Children will no longer imagine and wonder ‘why’ their parents are divorcing, and the advice to parents on each page will help them address difficult issues with their kids.

    The publisher of the book, EDCO Publishing, is owned by a veteran teacher of 25 years. Textbooks and educational material are her specialties. The mission statement of my company is “A B.B. Book and Bear in Every School in America!”.

    We hold charitable book launches that are geared to placing book and bear packages in schools and guidance counselor’s offices. Please check our website,

    Remember, “The greatest gift you can give to your child is the right to love both parents equally”.

    Thank You for putting kids first!

    Heather Drescher, Illustrator
    “You and Me Make Three”

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