Divorce or separation with children are unique challenges because you are linked to someone with whom you no longer feel comfortable being linked. Decisions need to be made that impact the linkages. Uncomfortable with the link, people struggle with the vulnerability it creates and that coupled with fear, a seeming impossible overwhelming challenge is created. Though we recommend having a lawyer for consultation, fear drives people to often seek help from lawyers to try to control against the potential negative outcomes. Lawyers promising protection advocate for an outcome. Advocacy is persuasion. Efforts to persuade create competition and an expensive environment.

Decisions made in a cooperative environment are more efficiently accomplished and therefore cost less because you need less time from professionals. And, studies show that children do best when parents can cooperate. You have control of whether cooperation does not happen. Because you can refuse to do it. But you do not have control over whether cooperation does happen, because that takes two. The best you can do is try to create a cooperative environment where if cooperation can happen, it will. In order to accomplish this, you need to be patient and persistent in your efforts. You also need to avoid being pushy. When we are pushed our natural response is to resist. You do not want resistance. You want cooperation. So don’t push. Pushing is trying to talk someone into something. I talked about this in a prior blog. But it’s also acting unilaterally. Particularly when taking legal steps like filing for divorce or filing a motion. Or it can have to do with money. Like incurring a significant debt. Or moving money. Or changing a direct deposit. Or removing something from a house. In a cooperative environment action is only taken after first discussing it and when agreement is reached about how to proceed.

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