Making Modern Divorced Families Work: During and After the Divorce

Ask the Experts by Sean Cleland

Q: My spouse and I are discussing divorce, but I am worried that it will get ugly and hurt our kids. What can I do to prevent this?

A: There are four basic elements to obtaining a healthier divorce:

  • Focus on your post-divorce life. Divorce is the end of a way of life for you and your family, but it is also the beginning of the rest of your life. Your divorce is the time to make the transition into that new life as smooth and well thought out as possible.
  • Reduce conflict. After basic financial needs, the greatest risk to children for many serious and on-going problems is prolonged conflict between their parents. Look to resolve conflicts through communication and collaboration rather than "winning" arguments.
  • Stay in control. The experience of control over the divorce process has a positive effect on a person's adjustment to divorce, and a parent's adjustment to divorce is the best predictor of children's adjustment to divorce.
  • Getting the right help. You need more than legal advice. You need emotional and financial support from experts in order to improve your adjustment.

Your ability to maximize these elements into your divorce will be greatly impacted by the method by which you obtain your divorce. Mediation and Collaborative Practice are two methods of obtaining a divorce out of court that maximize all four elements. If you are faced with a divorce in court, retain an attorney whose focus is helping you to meet these objectives.

Sean Cleland is an attorney/mediator with Cleland Collaborative Solutions. Cleland Collaborative Practice assists couples to select the best option for them and provides clients with full mediation, collaborative practice and litigation services. Cleland specializes in divorce mediation, divorce collaborative practice and family law (litigation.) He can be reached at 586-876-9165 and is a member of The Family Center's Association of Professionals.

Save the Date

Making Modern Divorced Families Work: During and After the Divorce

Presented by The Family Center, Cleland Collaborative Solutions and CARE of Southeastern Michigan

Tuesday, April 26, 2017, 7pm

Christ Church Grosse Pointe, 61 Grosse Pointe Blvd., Grosse Pointe Farms

FREE, Register online at or call 313.432.3832

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