Some thoughts…from the perspective of a 15 year-old co-parented child

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A 15 year-old child of co-parents was asked to share her thoughts on what she experienced when her parents divorced amicably.  This is what she said:

When it comes to growing up with divorced parents, my younger brother and I definitely got lucky. Our parent’s divorce was civil, friendly, and, most importantly, it never required the involvement of courts.

My parents announced their separation when I was in third grade and my biggest priority was convincing them to get Disney Channel so I didn’t have to go to a friend’s house in order to watch Wizards of Waverly Place. The news was not a shock, though was obviously going to be a big change. My mom soon moved out and our time was divided between her and my dad in a way it had never been before. Still, the change was gentle and fortunately not traumatic in any way.

My parents came to the agreement that my brother and I would spend most of the week living with our dad, who stayed in the house we grew up in for many years. My mom would come down from North Jersey for half of the week and we would alternate weekends. This arrangement allowed for me and my brother to stay in our schools and close to our friends while still getting to spend time with both of our parents. We never bore witness to nasty fights, we were never used as pawns for emotional manipulation, and the dynamic of our larger family stays mostly the same. A few weeks ago, my maternal grandmother went furniture shopping with my dad’s mother and they were mistaken as a couple.

The point is, we were able to smoothly adjust our lives and maintain the structure of our family, despite a massive change. We were spared from emotional trauma and still get to see both of our parents equally, even seven years later. This was all possible because my parents came to an arrangement civilly and maturely, without any dirty play or severed ties. A peaceful settlement can salvage relationships between divorcees, with family members, and with the children. I can honestly say that I hold immense respect for both of my parents for their ability to solve issues rationally and come to a conclusion that was considerate to me, my brother, and the rest of our family.

I myself am living proof that divorce does not always have to involve fighting, ending in resentment and scorched earth, and that co-parenting settlements can be easily reached through mediation and calm discussion.

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