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As Pitt and Jolie Announce Split, Veteran Matrimonial Lawyer Offers Advice for Other Parents Going Through Divorce


Whether Famous or Not, First Priority is to Minimize Impact on the Children, Warns Theresa Lyons

Somerville, N.J. (PRWEB) September 20, 2016

As the old adage goes, "Breaking up is hard to do." But it's not just the breaking up that's hard to do, it's also figuring out how to parent your children moving forward. It doesn't matter whether you're famous or not. There are a few things that all parents can do to try to ensure that their kids make it through divorce without being scarred for life. Here are four key tips from veteran matrimonial lawyer and social worker Theresa A. Lyons, Esq:

1. First Things First – Above all, remember to place your children's interests above your own. Your children didn't ask for the divorce, and it's not their fault. It might be upsetting to give up some holiday or vacation time, or it might be hard to let your children live with the other parent if that parent lives in a better school district or has a more accommodating work schedule than you, but in the end, if it will make your children happy, it might be the right thing to do.

2. Rally the Troops – Many kids have other grown-ups in their lives besides their parents. Reach out to extended relatives, guidance counselors, teachers, and even trusted friends to let them know about the divorce and to ask them to keep an extra eye on your kids, to alert you to any pending crises, and to serve as sounding boards for your kids. Sometimes kids need another place to turn, especially if they feel like their own parents are in crisis, such that they don't want to burden them with their own problems.

3. Shield Your Kids from the Litigation – It may seem like a simple thing to do, but shielding your kids from divorce litigation means more than making sure you don't leave court papers lying around on the kitchen counter. Shielding kids from litigation also means not talking about court matters when a child may be within earshot, not using your children as messengers or couriers between you and your spouse, and not letting your own anger and frustration creep into their daily lives.

4. Stay on the Same Page, at Least When it Comes to Parenting – Clearly, if you are getting divorced, there has been a substantial breakdown of communication between you and your spouse. But that does not mean that the parents can't communicate and co-parent in a healthy way for the kids. Studies show that people who can effectively co-parent have a higher success rate. That means that the more you and your soon to be ex work together towards the same parenting goals, the more well-adjusted and happy your children will be as adults.

Theresa A. Lyons holds a master's degree in social work from Rutgers University. A certified matrimonial attorney, she has clerked for the Supreme Court of New Jersey and is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court. She is managing partner at Lyons & Associates in Somerville. Lyons is also author of the bestselling book, Sticks and Stones: Life Lessons From a Lawyer. For more information about Lyons & Associates, P.C., and its family law practice, go to

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