Unfortunately this county, Tarrant Countysuffers about 13 to 15,000 divorces ayear that limits our ability as judges tospend very much time with the parties and helping themresolve their problems.
I believe that we don't spring from the womb knowing how to beparents and if we don't spring from the womb knowing how to be parents we definitely don't spring fromthe womb knowing how to be coparents after divorce.
Primarily I am attempting to get them to focus on their children instead of themselves and theirproblems.
Uh, also wanting them to try and makedecisions that are in the best interest of the children.
The quicker that parents come to an understanding that they both are important in a child's life the better off they are.
It's really an opportunity for the mother and father to help their children as they helpthemselves learn how to become a divorce family andpreserve the respect and dignity and familyhistory that they've built up before they went into the divorce experience.
Families, they're at a time of crisis.
These are some of the best people and they're right in the middle ofthe worst time in their lives.
What happens is survival instincts kickin and folks need to remind themselves tostop being self-centered and self-involved and focus on the kids.
You'll have this child in your life for the rest of your lives a misconception is we'll have this child in our lives until we're 18.
Not true! You've got weddings, graduations, birth of grandbabies, seeing grandbabies,holidays with grandbabies and and if you can coparent from thebeginning and work out how this family, that is nowtwo families, Uhm, are going to work together then you're going to be better off in the long run through grandbabies.
Parent's need education in learning a new skill which is how to parent independently of each other and yet haveit compatible and have it as a benefit to the kids.
Andsometimes that means the woman or the man undertake roles that they traditionally didn't haveduring the marriage.
Consequently, these parents reallybenefit from learning a brand new skill set of howto independently parent their child with the help of the input of the other parent, and whenboth parents are working toward one common goal, the children and the children's welfare,we have a much happier healthier family even if they're not all living in thesame home.
Some people have difficulty comprehending their own actions and how they hurt theirchildren.
Coparenting helps or assists them in identifying theproblems that they have.
They are the children's parentswhether they like each other or not they have an obligation to the childrenby virtue the fact that they're the ones that brought them in to this world.
It really takes a big minded big-hearted extended familymember to continue to reach out to theperson who's no longer living in the home with the childrenthat you love and cherish, to keep the communication open, to try to preserve the candor and respectthat once existed.
And I think the classes are a wonderfulopportunity in that sense, to.
for people to get the affirmationthat yes indeed this, our family, is still afamily.
We're divorced family now but we are a family.
I think that even intact families the parents need coparenting education.
It's not easy to raise children unless you work together.
Coparenting education assists the parents in becoming creative with the way that they establish their relationship with their children.
What you hope it will do is get them out of the litigation mode and empowersthem both to work for the best interest ofthe children as opposed to their own bestinterest.
It also makes them realize hopefully that litigation is not necessarily the answer.
I have seen some that come back, a lot of times they go and then they settle their case and we never see him again.
So I think a lot of times that that speaks for itself, that once they gothey go and settle their case and don't continue with litigation that harms everyone.
Coparenting for parents is a very empowering experience because the parents get to make the decision themselves rather than having completestrangers make the decision for them.
Coparenting education classes often facilitate the mediation process or collaborativeprocess that an order them to reach decisions to resolve their disputes without thenecessity of bringing it to the courthouse which furtherescalates their hostilities with each other and then that impacts the the children.
So anything I can do togive these people an opportunity to learn how to dosomething that does not come naturally, I don't believe, the better off I think these kids are going to be.
An example of that I had a couple recently testify in courtthat they had during their separation madea practice of telling the children when they were separating from them or reuniting, that they were going to miss them or they missedthem while they were gone and they just meant that as an expressionlove and tell our children that they were notforgotten while they were gone.
But they learned through the course thatthis places a burden on the children and makes them feel guilty and so they had gotten some veryrelevant information that they found very helpful, and I often have parents tell me how helpful the course has been to them.