Want to change your Divorce and prevent cruelty to your children? Stop using these terms!

Everyone knows the legal system uses certain terms such as Visitations, Defendant/Plaintiff, Ex-Spouse, Court Order, Divorce, Court, Friend of the Court, Custody, Temporary Order, Child Support and other words that have a negative indication that someone is wrong and someone is right totally ignoring that parents are parents that have feelings and especially the fact that children have emotions that are a mess during this time of change.

If you want to change how your child is affected, I suggest you do not use these harsh terms with your children and definitely not with your husband or wife. Let your attorney and judge use these terms as it’s their vocabulary they need to use for their legal termed work environment.

In homes we don’t walk around on a regular basis saying that the child is the defendant when the plaintiff mom accuses little Tommy of not taking out the garbage. When Mom comes home from work and Dad leaves to go to work and they switch hands, it’s not called “visitation”. This is simply a change of hands due to the families scheduled plan allowing time for each other to take responsibility and cover for each other and take care of the kids needs.

If we are looking to change the way everyone sees divorce, we need to change the words we use in order to change everyone’s thinking.

If we are wanting children to not be alienated then we need to stop the word “win” from being used.

Divorce is not and never has been a “win” or “lose” situation, so why do we need to continue to say these words, especially when no one is ever happy with the outcomes.

Below are some words that we could change in order to think differently and put our families’ lives in perspective.

  • Win/Lose=Complete
  • Visitations=Parenting Time
  • Defendant/Plaintiff=Mom/Dad
  • Ex-Spouse=Kids Mom/Dad or use their name (there’s an idea)
  • Court Order=Parenting Plan
  • Divorce=Separation Agreement
  • Court=Place where we filed our agreement
  • Friend of the Court=Place where we discuss and mediate over separation agreement
  • Custody=Current Arrangement for Parenting Time or Time with Parent
  • Temporary Order= Temporary Arrangement
  • Child Support=Money for the kids (that would have normally gone towards the kids anyway)

Prior to divorce all parents have arrangements, agreements, schedules etc. Why change everything to be a foreign language just because you are asking the legal system to help you make decisions that both parents cannot make on their own.

I’ve heard it said that children are resilient. Yes, they are while they are resolving transitions already in their minds, please don’t make them try to do this with words they aren’t even familiar with and respect each other enough to not use these terms with each other as you create your new schedules and agreements.

~SONJA HOWELL

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