It’s All About the Kids

I was cleaning up “that pile” on my desk this morning. You know ”that pile”- old notes from conferences, industry magazines with articles you meant to get to, old “to do” lists. Anyhow, I found an Ask Amy column from December of 2011 that I had cut out of the paper.

The column addresses the letter of a teenage girl who was sad, anxious and worried about all the fighting her parents were doing. She was seeking advice on what she should do.

Amy responds by saying that conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it leads to a resolution. She also suggested the young girl approach her parents at a quieter moment and share her feelings of anxiousness and sadness.

I wonder how it turned out for that young woman and her family.

As a collaborative attorney and mediator, I often get to witness the interplay of a couple in conflict and the children of the marriage. When an emphasis is placed on protecting the children, as it is in mediation and collaborative practice, the new reconstituted family often benefits.

Despite the many disagreements my clients have, they almost all indicate a high level of desire to minimize the impact on the children of the marriage. That common goal often serves as the linchpin to build the rest of a sustained agreement.

When there are disagreements as to how best achieve that joint goal, there are a tremendous variety of resources available to families including child specialists, therapists and parenting classes. When those resources are properly marshaled for a family, they can provide a structure and support system to help the children of divorce for many years to come.

While I will most likely never find out how the family in the column made out, I do know that my clients that have made the process choice of mediation or collaborative law have a much better chance of helping their children move through the divorce more successfully.

Martin Murphy, Esq. is a collaborative attorney and seasoned mediator. He is dedicated to using the principles and benefits of mediation and collaborative law in the general representation of businesses, their owners and in helping families facing divorce, child custody and other family law issues. The Law Office of Martin Murphy, LLC located in Norwood MA, serves clients in the surrounding communities including Attleboro, Canton, Foxboro, Franklin, Mansfield, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Plainville, Sharon, Walpole, Westwood, and Wrentham., Marty can be reached at

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