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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 02-05-2013, 01:35 PM
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Default Undoing "damage" by a High Conflict ex

Hello... Anyone have any advice on the following situation??

Brief Background:
- Highly acrimonious separation for the last 2.5 years. She is extremely High Conflict.
- 2 kids.. currently 15 & 17.
- Kids are living with her... but I live nearby and text, talk or see them constantly. I have an excellent relationship with both.
- Recently had Settlement Conference which led to nothing... she called it a "waste of time"... presumably as several things did not go her way.

The Problem:
Against the advice of every judge, lawyer, councillor or mediator we've ever met, she routinely and deeply involves the kids in all aspects of our issues. She continually tries to get me to the table, with the kids as mediators. Everyone says this causes tremendous damage to the kids. Kids have read separation agreement, settlement briefs and she has fully indoctronated them into her arguements. They routinely come to me and say, "Moms numbers make sense... unless you can convince me otherwise, I have to believe you're the problem".
I continue to take the high road and say, "I am advised by the judge/lawyer/etc not to discuss this level of detail with you".

Questions:
1) What sort of lasting "damage" is down the road for the kids?
2) Is there anything I can do to minimize it at this point in time?
3) When/if, this finally ends, any suggestions on how best to deal with it?

Thanks for any pointers
  #2  
Old 02-05-2013, 01:44 PM
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You should definately not discuss that level of detail with them. But maybe lose the 'I have been advised by counsel' line and replace it with 'because I love you and you shouldn't have to worry about these things'.

That would be a good place to start minimizing the damamge. Look at the little things you do.

What she does is her problem - and beyond your control.
Get used to that.

You should search the forums on 'settlement conference', and see if you change your mind about there anything actually being accomplished.

Last edited by wretchedotis; 02-05-2013 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:58 PM
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To your questions:

1. what sort of lasting damage? - the answer is likely completely unknown. It may have no effect it or it may cause some severe damage to their ability to maintain relationships/trust issues down the road. It may cause them to be reserved, it may cause them to be homicidal maniacs....(unlikely....but given the wide range of things that "may" happen, you never know. But really, there is no concrete answer that can be given to this question.

2. What can you do to minimize the damage? You can not talk about these matters with the kids. State that you love them, but these are not matters that they should be involved in. That you love them too much to put them in the middle. As for the ex, you can't fix stupid. All you can do is when she asks you to discuss these matters with the kids, state that you don't believe it is in the kids best interests to be involved in adults matters. And that you respectfully request she cease and desist from continuing to involve them as you believe it to be harmful to them.

3. When it ends? When it ends and the kids ask, state that you may discuss this with them one day, but right now you just want to put it all behind you for a good amount of time. And then suggest taking them out for dinner to change the topic.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:46 PM
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Thanks guys... appreciate your responses... I'll definitely ditch the lawyer reference for comment for #2. Agree that they shouldn't have to worry about it.... problem is they see their University money slipping away (though I am keeping my part safe).
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:57 PM
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All you can do is assure them that you are doing your best to negotiate with their mother and that they do not have both sides of the story and you are going to keep it that way because they should not feel they have to choose sides. You understand that they love both you and their mother, so you are not going to bring them into any differences you have with her. Assure them that you have made plans and sacrifices for their education, and will do your best to ensure they have what they need when the time comes.

Their job is not to number crunch their parents' divorce and not to mediate between them. Their job is to be teenagers and do well in school and not be distracted by their parents' issues.

The lasting damage is parental alienation, but I think you are safe if there is lots of contact, which there is from the sounds of it. I might worry about their statements that they believe you are the problem, but again, you have to assure them you aren't while not providing the same documentation she does. But if your ex is high conflict with you, they may have experienced it as well, know what she is like, and understand more than you know, but not want to rock the boat with her.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:07 PM
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Thank you Rioe.... very insightful response... really appreciate it..

Cheers...
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:09 AM
Links17 Links17 is offline
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They say when deal with an HCP you have to be assertive yourself instead of rolling over etc....

If she is involving the children, they're involved..... Instead of dismissing their opinion, viewpoint and understanding I would probably tell them that this isn't their concern as others have mentionned BUT I would shed light on a few of the issues to explain why the numbers AREN'T correct with an agreement from them to stop being involved and for them to tell their mother to leave them out of it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Links17 View Post
They say when deal with an HCP you have to be assertive yourself instead of rolling over etc....

If she is involving the children, they're involved..... Instead of dismissing their opinion, viewpoint and understanding I would probably tell them that this isn't their concern as others have mentionned
The right way to do it.

Quote:
BUT I would shed light on a few of the issues to explain why the numbers AREN'T correct with an agreement from them to stop being involved
The wrong way to do it. Because then, you are no better than the other parent who is putting the kids in the middle.

The kids don't need to know the math. Because even the math in these instances are matters of opinion. What gets included? What is the value? What is the valuation date? etc. All up for debate.

Keep the kids out of it, let them know you are trying to work towards an agreement that works for both parents.
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