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It’s not just about talking to lawyers when divorcing……

It’s not just about talking to lawyers when divorcing……

  You are not alone:   Did you know that even though swans usually mate for life, sometimes they still ‘divorce’? Divorce & family breakup is an emotional & psychological journey, more than a legal & financial one.   What you feel will directly effect how you act: your pain, anger, fear or sense of hopelessness is all quite natural.       How do I keep myself sane through all this?   I think we all go a little crazy during big life changes...

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Weapons of War – children and divorce

Weapons of War – children and divorce

  Will divorce really harm my children?   No-one wants their kids to be used as weapons in an adversarial divorce – yet so many families fall into that trap. Your children can grow up as happy as everyone else’s kids – despite the divorce.  But let’s be aware of the consequences if we get it wrong…..   Listen to Catherine’s story…..       Want to reduce the toxic effects of divorce on your kids?   Use the Alternative Divorce Guide...

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Stressed dads – fatherhood and divorce

Stressed dads – fatherhood and divorce

  Susan Cowe Miller reassures new dads that there is a simple way to deal with the inevitable stress of fatherhood using Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping).   This technique would be particularly useful for dads who don’t live with their children, and where the contact is squashed into a limited amount of time – which can make the parenting experience even more stressful.     Are you a father finding parenthood difficult?   Are you new to...

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How much truth can I tell my daughter about her father?

How much truth can I tell my daughter about her father?

Most separating parents ask themselves their own version of this question. The main thing to remember here is that your daughter needs all the support she can have to carry on having loving relationship with her dad. So how much you are going to tell her will depend on whether the situation between yourself and her dad affected her life directly or not. Let’s start with an easier scenario: if the happenings between the two of you were quite contained, she does not need to know the...

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3 Myths that Scare Divorcing Mums

3 Myths that Scare Divorcing Mums

I am a child psychologist Una Archer and I help divorcing mums to do whatever they need to do so that their children feel just as loved, secure and comfortable in their own skin as before the divorce and sometimes even more so. Helping children feel safe is the most direct way of preventing and resolving any issues that the divorce can cause for them. Having had the privilege to witness the journey of a fair few mums I noticed that there are some ideas that seem to be floating in our culture...

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My child’s co-parent hasn’t turned up – again!

My child’s co-parent hasn’t turned up – again!

  How can I help my child to manage their disappointment when the other parent does not show up to see them?   Una Archer MBPsS is a child psychologist who shares practical advice on how to deal with a very stressful and upsetting common co-parenting situation:     It is a good idea to address your own disappointment first: you might have been looking forward to the break or had some other plans for this time that you will have to cancel at a very short notice and do...

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What happens to the children during divorce?

What happens to the children during divorce?

  “I think the most important thing for couples to realise is that the impact that they are going to have on their children during divorce is enormous.”   “All the research now shows that children survive divorce and adjust well if the parents act civilly and behave as friends. So the biggest mistake a lot of parents make, is that they get angry, rush off to the lawyers, rush off to court, and start a war. I’ve had children come into my office and draw me...

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Keeping flexible when creating a child contact agreement

Keeping flexible when creating a child contact agreement

In this video interview by Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller, with Divorce Mediator John Stebbing of Stephen Rimmer LLP, John explains how creating a contact agreement can be a difficult area. The reason it’s difficult is because children grow – their needs change. You don’t want the couple concerned tied to an arrangement which isn’t in the interests of those children anymore. So, you need to have the right type of wording/paragraph that enables the agreement to...

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Making a Mediation Agreement legally binding

Making a Mediation Agreement legally binding

Something that clients often ask me, is that if you are the parent who isn’t getting contact with the children, then what’s the point of using mediation, since whatever agreement you reach, it is not immediately legally binding? “We can negotiate using mediation, but the other parent can just ignore what was agreed. How do I make sure that this doesn’t happen?” Something that I frequently advise, is that when you use mediation, you can create a parenting plan...

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Divorce First Aid for Employees interview with Suzy Miller

Divorce First Aid for Employees interview with Suzy Miller

Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller talks about Divorce First Aid for Employees in this podcast interview with Single Mums’ Survival Guide author and transformational coach Vivienne Smith:     “Family breakup and divorce has significant health consequences both physically and emotionally, and therefore it is vital that co-workers and managers have a basic understanding on how to deliver “First Aid” in the form of guidance, access to resources, and a non-judgemental...

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International Child-Centered Divorce Month

International Child-Centered Divorce Month

  January is International Child-Centered Divorce Month offering complimentary books, audios, coaching and other gifts for parents coping with divorce   International Child-Centered Divorce Month is being commemorated once again in January. The entire month is devoted to alerting parents about the effects of divorce on children – and how parents can make better choices regarding their children’s well-being during and long after divorce.   Throughout January, divorce attorneys,...

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Changing People: with Life Coach Sandie Martel

Changing People: with Life Coach Sandie Martel

In this interview with Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller, Life Coach Sandie Martel  shares a story of how she transformed her relationship with her strong-willed 5 year old.   Letting go There is something very liberating when you stop wanting people to change or to change people. We get easily annoyed when people are not acting the way we would like them to. We have so many expectations about just anything and anyone. We often think that life would be so much easier if only our...

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Protecting the Children from the divorce fall-out

Protecting the Children from the divorce fall-out

How do we protect the children from the effects of the divorce?   The ability to learn forgiveness and being aware of flash points where the children become dragged into the divorce are important.  In this video interview with Transformation Coach Vivienne Smith, Alternative Divorce Guide Suzy Miller records some valuable post-divorce advice for parents: “The one thing that always strikes me whenever I talk to single mums is just how passionately they love their children. They would...

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When going to court seems the best way to see your kids

When going to court seems the best way to see your kids

  Despite railing against adversarial divorce in my role as the UK’s Alternative Divorce Guide, the one time that going to court can seem a necessary evil is over disputes regarding contact with the kids.   I have witnessed a father who – with the help of national charity Families Need Fathers – represented himself in court and achieved a defined contact order, which meant his ex-wife could not whisk their child away at will despite previously agreed contact being...

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CoParenting Online Resource: reduce family conflict with online calendars

CoParenting Online Resource: reduce family conflict with online calendars

  Online shared calendars can take the heat out of co-parenting   Below are a range of online resources to help separated parents manage care of their children. These tools can help you and your child’s other parent communicate more effectively by managing schedules, contacts, events and much more online. These can be particularly effective if you and the other parent find face-to-face communication difficult to manage.     Cofamilies is a free online calendar program for...

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5 reasons families find themselves in an adversarial divorce

5 reasons families find themselves in an adversarial divorce

The Big 5 Divorce Myths There are 5 main reasons that families today can find themselves in an adversarial divorce process. These reasons are caused partly by the divorce industry, and partly by people not wanting to take full responsibility for keeping their divorce non-adversarial.  It’s up to us to change things!   True or false?  “We didn’t want it to get nasty, but we couldn’t stop it becoming adversarial” “I have to fight for a good settlement and what’s fair or...

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Jay talks about dealing with the Ex

    Thank you to Jay for sharing his enlightened way of ‘dealing with the Ex’.   Know someone going through breakup?  Want them to stay out of court and to protect the children? Tell them about Divorce in a Box

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Four questions parents rarely ask out loud

How will I deal with the guilt when I look at my kids and feel that I’ve let them down? Time. Focus on the positive outcomes you want to achieve, and let your learning be their learning.   How will I survive financially and what will I do when the kids leave home, my career has been obliterated by the restraints of parenting, and I have no financial resources left? Be creative. Lot’s of full-time workers have lost half their pensions due to the financial crises of the last few...

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Children of Divorce Video Collection

    Children experience divorce in many ways. Here is a collection of videos from around the world that are both amusing – and moving. This first documentary is challenging but well worth watching.  Let the children’s voices be heard.     See more videos about children sharing their experiences and ways to help them here: Children of Divorce Channel    ...

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My blended family on BBC TV

My blended family on BBC TV

On the morning of Friday 23 December, a prerecorded sequence of my blended family eating together will be show on BBC Breakfast TV, and Dr Katherine Rake will be the ‘expert’ interviewed about the ‘modern family’. In the Scottish Widows report Centre for the Modern Family, Dr Rake says of the research “..people seem quite liberal around form.  In other words they recognise that different arrangements – married couples, lone parents, grandparents, siblings,...

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4 questions often asked by divorcing parents but rarely said out loud:

How will I deal with the guilt when I look at my kids and feel that I’ve let them down? Time.  Focus on the positive outcomes you want to achieve, and let your learning be their learning. How will I survive financially and what will I do when the kids leave home, my career has been obliterated by the restraints of parenting, and I have no financial resources left? Be creative.  Lot’s of full-time workers have lost half their pensions due to the financial crises of the last few...

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Feeling bullied by Ex’s demands to see our child more often

Feeling bullied by Ex’s demands to see our child more often

Divorce Coach Rhiannon Ford responds to a request from a mother feeling bullied by her ex husband, who demands to see more of their young child via angry solicitor’s letters. “I am at my wits end with my ex husband. We divorced earlier this year, but despite him moving on (he has a new partner who lives with him), he is not allowing the children and I to do the same. I have already spent the best part of £6500 in defending myself but he continues to bombard me with solicitors letters...

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The kids rewrite the Ten Commandments

The kids rewrite the Ten Commandments

  I asked my three children when still young what their advice would be to parents who are splitting up.  This is a summary of what they said:     ONE: ‘Put me first – make me the incentive to break up right. Please don’t fight.‘ TWO: ‘Don’t think new partners buying presents and chocolate will make them take the place of my real mum/dad. Kids don’t worship false idols.’ THREE:  ‘You shall not take the name of each other in vain....

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Using the children as weapons

Using the children as weapons

This was handed to me by a collaborative lawyer who often hands this poem to parents who are in the process of divorce. For anyone who has ended a relationship with children at it’s heart, this is a powerful and moving reminder of why we take a long term view. For those who are still on the threshhold – read this, and hold it in your hearts before you say anything, do anything – and give your lawyer a copy to boot. Weapons Now our marriage is spiralling, spinning beyond our...

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