By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
Michael Mastracci is an attorney on a mission -- one he shares with the entire child-centered divorce community. He talks about - and is soon to be the author of a new book about - "Divorce Without Dishonor", a difficult and acrimonious divorce and child custody battle led to my interest in collaborative family law, notes Mastracci. His soon to be released book focuses on child custody issues and divorce using collaborative law.
Mike is quite personable and a good listener. Along with those traits he has a sincere interest in helping parents to resolve their divorce and child custody issues "in a fair and even-handed manner that will cause the least amount of damage" to their children. "I have personally seen the strife that divorce causes in families," says Mike, "and want to express my concern and compassion for your personal situation."
"Collaborative law does not mean giving away rights or just rolling over to a stronger willed soon-to-be ex-spouse," he adds. "It means working through the issues as adults with one focus -- helping the kids get through the mess caused by divorce."
Fortunately, there are collaborative divorce attorneys like Mike located all over the United States and in many other countries around the world. Seek them out. Read their websites and blogs. (Mike's is www.divorcewithoutdishonor.com) Get to know their philosophy about supporting families and putting children's needs first when making custody and other related divorce decisions. Your children will thank you years from now when they have the awareness to understand how you bent over backwards to diffuse negative energy and create collaborative harmony in your post-divorce family relationships.
One of the most rewarding experiences in my life came when my son, as a young adult in his late teens or early twenties, mentioned the separation that took place when he was eleven (followed later by divorce). He said although he was very upset at the time, looking back he can now see that Dad and I were not very compatible and didn't really belong together. He mentioned that he was happy that both of us have since remarried much more happily. And he thanked me for working hard to maintain a positive relationship with his father over the years so that we were both there for special celebrations, important events and other significant times in his life.
In fact, he wrote the Introduction to my new book, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children - with Love! The book is based on my own personal experience more than a decade ago when I came up with the concept of creating a personal family storybook, in advance of the dreaded divorce talk. Through this approach the children have something to read over again and again reminding them of the crucial messages they need to repeatedly hear and accept.
I am so grateful that divorce attorneys like Mike Mastracci are available to share their legal expertise, along with their compassion, about child-centered issues to assist parents facing divorce or separation in creating the most positive outcome for everyone in the family.
Susan Dockerill has ten years of teaching children in public, private, and military schools at home and abroad, plus 17 years teaching and mediating with parents and teachers. Susan has the expertise to speak frankly about marriage, divorce, children, and being responsible for living the life of your dreams.
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