The Smart Divorce® Weblog

Move forward with focus, hope, and confidence.

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Parent alienation: the child’s best interest

……and the gaps in the legal system

The Globe and Mail newspaper reported a surprising ruling by a judge this week. Despite the judge’s condemnation of the mother, calling her a liar and manipulator, it was deemed in the child’s best interest to allow the child to move out of the country with her mother (Blameless father a victim in brainwashing case, May 19, 2009).

The efforts by the father to have a relationship with his daughter were blatantly denied by the mother. Given this information, the judge viewed the daughter’s relationship with the mother and allowing them to move out of the country, in the child’s best interest – although, the judge had “expressed frustration that (the mother) beat the system by flagrantly violating court orders, spiriting (the daughter) out of the country, and keeping every measure possible to keep them apart” (father and daughter.)

The end result of this case demonstrated a very serious problem in the court system – and, that is when it comes to family law, not every family issue is a legal problem. It is a very sad situation when the gaps in the legal system support a parent who deliberately does not abide by rulings and consciously destroy the relationship with the other parent.

It is a travesty when there seems to be no consequence for the parent who defies court orders and deliberately destroys a child’s relationship with the other parent. Parents are their children’s role model. When a parent does not parent effectively, this behavior many not only be modeled by their children but, this pattern of parenting could continue for several generations. Any parent who uses their children as weapons of vengeance certainly does not understand the meaning of “the children’s best interest.” These children are often set on a path of psychological and emotional problems, not provided the opportunity to understand healthy relationships, and frequently prevented from knowing all family members. It is disheartening to learn that the father, despite his best efforts, will most likely not have a relationship with his daughter.

This young girl is set on a path for feelings of anger, resentment and bitterness and a range of psychological issues.

Most parents love their children more than they despise the other parent – the parents that cannot, really need to focus on the need to put their children first.

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Space still available for The Smart Divorce Workshop at Centennial College

It’s not too late to register – if you are looking to gain greater insight into the divorce process and save time, money – and your skin…… is still available for the May 23 workshop.

The Toronto Star profiled the workshop.  For an unbiased look at what I talk about and the benefits so many have received, click on the link to view the article entitled: Taking the doom and gloom out of the divorce process

Click on the link for more information:


course code: CESI-602
course name: The Smart Divorce
category: Special Interest
description: People often divorce without understanding that it is a process that has both legal and emotional components. Myths and misunderstandings prevail about the effects of divorce on parents and children. This workshop will help those contemplating or experiencing divorce navigate the process. Learn what to expect about all aspects of the divorce process, how to work more effectively with a lawyer and other professionals, and strategies and tips to reduce the complexity and costs. Become better prepared for your divorce, with focus and confidence, while saving time and money.
3 hours
web site:
register online:

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After divorce: Happier, stronger you

Too often, people identify themselves with who they were when they were married, rather than who they’ve become (or would like to become) postdivorce.

Now is the time to evaluate what you would like your life to like, and to develop strategies to get there. If you were the primary caregiver and stayed at home with your children during your marriage, perhaps you need to go to work but haven’t been in the workforce for a number of years. You could consider going to a vocational coach to help you make the transition. Perhaps you can afford to continue not working, but will this still be fulfilling? You can volunteer or pursue other interests. After all, your children may no longer be with you every day or weekend. The challenge is to rebuild your life to achieve a new kind of happiness. You just have to want to change and believe that it can be accomplished.

Visualize your life being different, and live your life as you envision it. Don’t wait to do the things that you promise yourself you will do when you feel better. Start doing those things now, and happiness will follow. If you wait until you are happier to do those things, you will be waiting a long time.

Please click on the click to read more about tips and strategies as to how to develop your postdivorce identity.

I wrote this article for More magazine’s online edition. More magazine is a publication which celebrates women over 40.  Men should also feel comfortable reading this article as it offers great insight into moving on postdivorce; tips that apply to both men and women.

I don’t want to sugarcoat things. There are times when life postdivorce is difficult, sad, and lonely. You might still be experiencing a sense of loss, a setback in terms of self-esteem, or shame at no longer being part of a couple. But there are many single people living very rewarding lives. Again, try to reframe the situation and reflect on the life you actually had when you were married. I have heard people say that although they may have been blindsided by their divorce, when they really think about their marriage they realize that they were not fulfilled. If you are having difficulty postdivorce, this is when you really need to work hard to regain a positive outlook and work toward self-acceptance. Talking to a therapist, having a strong support network, or just asking yourself many questions about your life’s goals can lead you to an evaluation of where you are headed and how to get there.