When a couple breaks up, it sends shockwaves through a family.
We call this the breakup earthquake. Depending on its seismic force, anger, sadness and confusion can rumble through a family. At the very least, the breakup earthquake weakens family structure and relationships. At its worst, the shockwaves can tear apart families the same way an earthquake tears apart buildings, bridges and the ground.
Such destruction is often the result of constant conflict, which can cause toxic stress. Toxic stress is never good, and it’s very harmful to children because it can block or weaken brain development, which can lead to many health problems at the time and throughout life.
Just as a house needs a sturdy foundation to hold up the walls and roof, a child’s brain needs a good base to support all future development and lifelong health.
Our community offers a number of ways to support this development and deal with the shockwaves of the breakup earthquake. For example, different legal options to divorce, such as collaborative practice and mediation, help families keep their integrity and avoid fighting. They also put separating parents in control.
Lawyers and other professionals trained to help families restructure are like aid workers in a disaster. In this case, they work with parents to find positive and practical ways to solve a family’s problems.
This support helps parents settle their differences, and protect and share what matters most to them, such as their children, being a parent and their security, property and finances. Parents gain the knowledge, skills and support they need to lead separate lives, to co-parent and contribute to the community.
Giving parents better ways to talk about and deal with their feelings can also help them divorce or separate without the cost and anxiety of a legal battle or going to court.
With the right support, families can calm and reduce the damages of a breakup earthquake.
These resources offer divorcing or separating couples options to the traditional divorce system.