In a "cooperative"
divorce, both parents work together to restructure their own relationship & their family to allow the children
as normalized a relationship with each of them as possible.
This means cooperating
with each other as to finances, logistics & schedules as well as actively supporting the children's emotional relationships with the other parent & the extended families.
Marriage is an economic
partnership. Much like a business relationship. Each state has unique, but similar statutes that clearly define how the distribution
of property occurs when you decide to get a divorce. A lot of these statutes are available right online!
prevention thru education
As stated above,
in the ideal cooperative divorce, there is little or no alienation occurring. Parents recognize the difference between their
own needs and the needs of their children. They fully, believe that their children have needed both parents throughout the
marriage & will continue to need them after the divorce. Each parent values the role that the other parent can play in
the lives of the children & the different interests and talents the other has to offer the children, There is no motivation
for alienation because of the value attributed to the other parent.
This ideal is
infrequently realized in real life because divorce is such an intense change of role, life stage & life style for
almost all who go through it. Participants need as much education, support & information as possible to help mitigate
the harms that result from high conflict divorce.
court systems & other governmental entities' are requiring all parents of children involved in a divorce to attend an
educational program designed to help them understand the impact of the divorce process on themselves & their children
& to recognize the value to children of having both parents involved.
The parents are
educated as to the typical stages in divorce & child development & the impact they can anticipate their divorce having
on their children. The studies of the long term effects of divorce & the usual problems that occur are discussed.
are designed to be preventative of the kinds of problems that commonly arise when parents don't understand the psychological
& emotional consequences their divorce has upon themselves & their children.
Other states require mandatory mediation prior to
a court trial as a way of avoiding litigation. Mediation advocates believe that mediation is more successful than the courts
at avoiding future litigation.
While there have been no studies as to the effectiveness of these programs in preventing
or ameliorating alienation, in one such program the participants themselves have reported great satisfaction w/the program
& have recommended that it be expanded.
We strongly believe that such an educational program would have significant
preventative & some ameliorating effect on alienation, depending on the stage of the alienation.
Much of the early intervention we recommend involves
education. A required program for all divorcing, parents & all litigants involved in custody litigation is a cost effective
method of getting basic information to parents who may still be cognizant of their children's separate needs & who're
still motivated by a true regard for the child's well being.
An "angry divorce" isn't necessarily an alienating one. Alienation
occurs when the parties to divorce or custody litigation use their children to meet their own emotional needs as vehicles
to express or carry their intense emotions or as pawns to manipulate as a way of inflicting retribution on the other side.
The focus in determining - whether or not there is
alienation in an angry divorce must be, not on the degree of rage or loss expressed, but on the behavioral willingness to involve the children.
occurs along abroad continuum, based on the level of internal distress of the alienating parent, the vulnerability of the
child & the responses of the target parent as well as on the responses of the external system (family, attorneys, mental
health professionals, the legal system).
The range may
be from children who experience significant discomfort at transition times (mild), through children who feel compelled to
keep separate worlds & identities when w/each parent (moderate), to children who refuse to have anything to do w/the target
parent & become obsessed w/their hatred (severe).
There are alienating parents who are completely unaware of either their emotional state, the motivation to alienate, or the effects
of their behavior (unconscious).
While at the other end of the continuum, there are parents who absolutely intend to bind the child to themselves in an exclusive relationship & are explicit
in their statements & behavior (overt).
Alimony & Child Support obligations are
debts which can't be avoided by a Declaration of Bankruptcy.
Be sure to
keep detailed records of all visitation & custody issues, so if you ever want to modify prior orders you'll have something
to show the court.
|click on this picture
|to explore these feelings in depth....
to divorce experience a wide range of intense emotions, including rage, disappointment, hurt & fear. In "cooperative" divorces the parties consciously try not to engage in behavior they understand to be inflammatory to the
change your name or address during or after a divorce remember that a lot of people need to be notified. (start a list as soon as possible!)
Divorce will be on your mind throughout
the entire process. Keep a small note book with you, so you can write down thoughts or questions for your attorney
be aware of everything....
courtroom & legal vocabulary .....
ACTION - the legal term for what is generally referred to
as a lawsuit.
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER - the official who is appointed instead of a judge to preside over the child.
- any form of testimony or evidence that is allowed into court.
ADVERSARIAL DIVORCE - a divorce where each spouse is unable
to come to any agreement.
ADVERSARY - the opposition or the opposing party in a lawsuit. In a divorce, the litigant
or adversary will probably be your spouse.
AFDC(AID TO FAMILIES WITH DEPENDENT CHILDREN) - financial support in the
form of cash given to a family w/children in need of financial help. The grant is offered because the head of the family or
the custodial parent is not employed & not receiving child support or assistance from the non-custodial parent.
- a written statement of facts that are made under oath & which must be witnessed & signed by a notary or another
official authorized to administer oaths.
AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE - new facts or legal defenses in response to the opposing
AGREEMENT - a verbal or written resolution of disputes.
ALIMONY - financial support paid
to one spouse from the other. May be paid in one lump sum or in installments. It can be temporary or permanent. (see spousal
ALIMONY PENDENTE - a pretrial order for spousal support.
ALLEGATIONS - the claims that are
made against the other spouse in the lawsuit (action).
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR) - specific methods, including
mediation & arbitration w/which couples can obtain a divorce settlement w/out a trial.
ANNULMENT - a legal
action or lawsuit which may result in treating the marriage as if it never took place.
ANSWER - the formal response
for a divorce, separation or annulment petition. The response or answer contains the admission or denial of the allegations
made by the petitioner or against the petitioner.
ANTENUPTIAL AGREEMENT - a legal contract signed by two people prior
to marriage which states limitations to spouse's rights to property, support, or inheritance if the marriage ends in divorce.
- a legal procedure in which the losing party of a divorce (lawsuit ) requests that a higher court review the decision.
- a formal submission to the courts by the defendant (respondent) in response to the a complaint or summons.
APPELLANT - the individual who brings the appeal.
COURT - the court in which a appeal is heard.
APPLICATION - the primary step
in all divorce proceedings & court order. (The standard forms are available from the court office.
APPORTION - to divide & assign according to a definite rule. The division is not necessarily equal but is
fair according to the respective interests of the parties involved.
APPRAISAL - the
procedure for determining the fair market value of an asset for equitable distribution in divorce.
APPRAISAL REPORT - a report of the results of an appraisal which begins w/the definition of an appraisal problem
& leads to a specific conclusion using reasoning & relevant descriptive data.
- a legally binding, but not a judicial procedure. When a neutral 3rd party makes judgment on a case. This is not permitted
in most states or provinces.
ARREARAGES - a term used to describe the amount of money
less the court order amount of Support. If a spouse does not pay the full amount of support, the missing amount is considered
ASSETS - cash, property & investments along w/anything else that
may be of value to a individual or business.
ASSIGNMENT - the release
by an AFDC recipient of all rights to support arrearages owed the recipient & of the right to receive current child support
as the result of the receipt of AFDC.
ATTACHMENT - the process by which the court
seizes the property of a debtor.
AUTOMATIC WAGE DEDUCTION - a court ordered child
support system in which the non-custodial parent has the support amount deducted directly from his or her paycheck which is
then distributed by the employer.
AWARD - a decision made by a court to compensate
a person for something.
go to the next page for a continued glossary of terms &
words you should be familiar with in your divorce proceedings.