Anita R. White, Family Law and Mediation
2924 Brakley Drive, Suite A-3
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816
FOCUSING ON THE CHILDREN
Nothing is so destructive to children as conflict between their parents.
Few experiences are so stressful and conflict prone as divorce.
Divorce is a legal process. The legal process itself should not increase the stress faced by families in transition while they make crucial decisions concerning their children and property. It is my goal to reduce conflict and help guide my clients through the divorce process while keeping the focus on their futures and their children’s. I strive to help my clients understand their options, the legal processes and procedures, and the long-term effects of decisions they make during some of the most trying times and situations of their lives. Mediation Although most of the judges in our local courts are caring and conscientious about the decisions they are required to make, they encourage parents to make their own decisions about their children whenever possible. While it is sometimes necessary to ask the courts to make decisions about children when their parents are splitting up, no judge knows, understands, or cares about children as much as their parents do; and, when divorcing couples can cooperate in their parenting, their children are always better off for it. Conversely, nothing is so destructive to children, whether families are together or apart, as conflict and hostility between their parents. A very wise friend of mine who worked in family law much of her life says: “Family Court is an oxymoron; families don’t belong in court.” I couldn’t agree more. I try to help keep families out of court. Facing Divorce When people come to a family law attorney, they are usually going through some of the very worst times of their lives. Whether the decision to divorce has been mutual or one-sided, not many other events in life are as stressful as going through divorce. Psychologists indicate that divorce is more difficult, even, than the loss of a spouse through death. For many reasons though, two people who once loved each other, had children together, and shared important portions of their lives come to the decision to dissolve marriages, split families, and form new separate lives. During this time, they must make many important decisions that affect their children forever and their finances for years to come; yet, each one is often so hurt and angry that making good decisions is extremely challenging. Good judgment and common sense often seem to abandon the best of us in such situations, and it is especially difficult to understand the effects the decisions they make now will have on their own lives and their children’s in two, five, ten years. I strive to help my clients make good decisions by fully discussing their options from long-term perspectives, particularly about their children and their property. Children and Divorce: Never intending to, and without even realizing it, parents often let their anger toward each other spill over, and nothing is so frightening to children as angry parents, particularly while so many other changes are taking place in their lives. Each parent often assumes that his or her children share the same anger toward the other parent, and, that is hardly ever the case. Children love both parents, and although they may seem to side with each parent while the other is not present, it is often only because they see their parents hurting, want to make them feel better, and don’t know how else to do that. It is usually a coping mechanism and not necessarily true feelings. They are often very frightened of losing one or both parents, and often think the divorce is their fault. Mature responsible parents cooperate in joint parenting and help reassure their children rather than using them as pawns or go-betweens. https://www.facebook.com/anitawhitefamilylaw