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‘[The conflict] was so contentious on a regular basis, there was no room for the children—and that’s the danger.’

The sad truth is that divorcing parents embroiled in conflict are often so wrapped up in their own pain that they fail to protect their children. This was true for Janet, an adult child of divorce who continues to feel the impact of the tension, hostility and destruction that marked the end of her parents’ relationship.

Today, Janet sits down with Katherine to share her difficult experience as a child of divorce. She describes the shame she felt around the ‘failure’ of her family and the impact of her parents’ lack of control on Janet and her siblings. She relates the all-consuming pain she experienced during her parents’ divorce, the lifelong consequences of destructive behavior felt by children of divorce, and how the process informs her conduct now that she is a wife and mother herself. Listen in for Janet’s insight on maintaining and articulating respect for your ex-spouse and creating an environment where your children feel safe.


The lack of control demonstrated by Janet’s parents during the divorce process

How Janet recognized her parents’ issues when she was only ten years old

The tendency for children of divorce to blame themselves

The shame Janet felt about the ‘failure’ of her family

Janet’s insight around articulating the positive aspects of your relationship

  • Avoid saying bad things, putting children in middle
  • ‘We will always care about each other’

The lifelong consequences of destructive behavior on children of divorce

The all-consuming pain and sadness Janet experienced during her parents’ divorce

Janet’s determination to ensure that her children feel supported and loved

Janet’s advice for divorcing parents around remembering the initial bond between you

How Janet’s childhood identity was caught up in her family

How Janet’s parents negotiated the terms of their divorce

The concept of ‘bird nesting’ as an alternative to kids moving between parents

Janet’s parents’ inability to attend events together post-divorce


The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765