There’s a viral video that’s been circulating recently, from a 6-year-old girl talking to her mom about the divorce they’re all in the midst of experiencing. It’s, first and foremost, a plea for her parents to be nice to one another, and to emerge from the negotiations as friends. She talks earnestly about trying to do her best to be nice, and in encouraging her parents to do the same, so that everyone can emerge as friends. In her world, people who are nice to each other are doing the right thing, and people who are mean are “monsters.” There’s not a gray area for her; being nice is a situation where you either are or aren’t, and that’s crucial to future happiness.
She starts the video with the priceless advice of “don’t be too high up,” but rather, “to be down low” with everyone else. To me, that’s a reminder that people going through divorce can get too prideful, thinking solely about how they’ve been hurt and how to get some sense of “justice” in divorce court, resulting in a settlement that will double as a “win.”
Too often, parents who are fighting each other in court over their children do not comprehend the damage that their fighting does to the children. That’s one of the main reasons I seek alternatives to litigation for our clients; litigation turns parents into adversaries, and that ultimately hurts their ability to put their children’s needs front and center.
Our goal is to help our clients obtain an outcome that meets as much of their needs as possible. At the same time, we also seek to help both parents resolve their children’s issues in a way that benefits their children, both in the short term and the long term. As the six-year-old in the video says, “I want everything to be as good as possible” – both with the divorce settlement and with everyone’s lives after.