A Child Views Divorce/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on August 31, 2014


On August 28, 2014, the National Public Radio Station had a program that is part of its daily schedule known as “The Takeaway”. The following question was posed to its listeners:
“If you could delete one memory from your life, what would it be?”
One caller, who sounded as if here were in his 30’s or older stated that the memory he would like to delete was that of the day his parents divorced. He stated that he was 4 at the time and has thought about that day every day since. In many ways, such a comment is not a surprise, Divorce is a traumatic event for many children. Children will often blame themselves, unnecessarily, for the fact that their parents divorced. And indeed people who are unhappy in their marriages should get divorced. But if the fact that parents get divorced is not a reason for an apology, the way parents OFTEN get divorced is a cause for apology. For those who consider the way we often get divorced in America, complete with hired guns (i.e. attorneys) and needless confrontations, we can truly say that we, as a society can do better. Divorce mediation may not be a perfect process but I would venture a bet that fewer parents who use mediation when they divorce have children who will talk about the day of the divorce as a day they think of every day of their life. Mediate don’t litigate.