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Myths of Divorce and Separation

*Myth #1: It’s a competition.*

Truth: Almost always in divorce, parents either win together or lose together. Parents’ common interests remain common after separation.

*Myth #2: We have a legal problem.*

Truth: Nearly all issues in divorce are Mom-and-Dad issues. Parents and kids are badly hurt when parent issues are miscast as legal ones.

*Myth #3: We have a custody dispute.*

Truth: Almost no couples have a custody dispute; instead, much like married couples, they have decisions and schedules to resolve, not labels to fight over.

*Myth #4: The judge will solve the problem.*

Truth: Judges’ decisions don’t solve a family’s problems; in fact, resorting to court almost always leaves parents, children, and families more fractured.

*Myth #5: This is complicated.*

Truth: The emotional challenges are great, but the answer is parents’ simple focus on their children’s needs. Building peace for kids is parents’ best light out of their own hurt.

*Myth #6: To protect my children, I must fight.*

Truth: The fight can’t protect the children because the fight is precisely what’s hurting the children. Success, therefore, isn’t winning a fight; it’s ending a fight.

*Myth #7: Focusing on my children will hurt me.*

Truth: Far from hurting parents, focusing on the children’s need for family cooperation is the best predictor of a parent’s good outcome. Protecting kids protects parents.

*Myth #8: I’m not sad, just mad.*

Truth: Many parents hurt themselves by choosing a dangerously destructive battle to try to avoid their deep hurt. Grief must be faced, not camouflaged with anger or conflict.

*Myth #9: Divorce is inevitable.*

Truth: Half of couples in divorce cases make a serious effort at reconciliation, some successfully, and child-focused courtesy will help whether or not there’s a divorce.