Children of divorce have rights!
Children of divorce are being parented by (former) children of divorce at record levels these days. Those of us who have watched parents pioneer the art of tearing their marriage apart taught us all a lot about what works and what doesn’t. Now the children should be the beneficiaries of our wisdom, right? Children from “broken homes” know how hard it can be, and they know all the ways parents can make it easier, more humane, even positive. So, as a lawyer who practices in this area, I think it’s time we set up some ground rules. In that spirit, in this 2nd of a 4 part blog, are my ideas on what should be included in any discussion about children of divorce have rights. All children in this situation have the right to their feelings all of them, whenever they come, whatever they are. Parents with children going through a divorce must be aware of these rights & feelings and seek to honor them.
9. You have the right to be treated with respect, to be told the truth, to be included in the process.
10. You have the right to expect fair and equal treatment for yourself and your siblings and any step-siblings that enter or are born into your “blended” family.
11. You have the right to sometimes feel like an outsider in your own family.
12. You have the right to expect your parents to behave honorably, to put your interests first, and to keep you informed.
13. You have the right to ask for help and to get it.
14. You have the right to give everyone the silent treatment.
15. You have the right to express your anger and pain and feelings of helplessness.
16. You have the right to be in control of some things probably not the ones you want to control, though. And you have the right to be angry and sad about that.