MIAMI – Father’s Day, like all holidays, is celebrated differently after a divorce.
Planning for holidays is the cornerstone of one Miami-based organization that promotes civility during and after the divorce. It certainly comes into play during Father’s Day, a holiday that can still be filled with anticipation, joy and excitement and create special memories that will last a lifetime.
“The key to celebrating this holiday and others, is to plan for them during the divorce,” said Bette Quiat, Family Law Attorney, and a board member of the Collaborative Family Law Institute, (www.collaborativefamlaw.com) an organization that brings civility, a focus on mutual outcomes, and a concern for children in divorce proceedings. “By developing a specific plan, holidays, such as Father’s Day, can truly be celebrated and used as an opportunity for a family to maintain its structure – through a Collaborative Process -- despite a divorce.”
Based in Miami, this organization offers a voluntary process in which couples, with the assistance of a team of collaboratively-trained lawyers, financial consultants, and facilitators, work toward reaching a settlement on fair and equitable terms, without the financial and emotional costs that often accompany litigation. Through the Collaborative Process, the parties choose to resolve the issues in their dissolution in a mutually beneficial way, outside of the court system. In a Collaborative divorce, the parties are empowered to make their own decisions and customize the terms of an agreement based upon their particular needs and interests.
At the core of this unique strategy is the development of a “post-divorce parenting plan” that acknowledges the importance of family and builds ways to approach these special events with respect and flexibility, all in the best interests of the children.
“In most cases, the parenting plan will stipulate that the kids should be with Dad on Father’s Day,” said Ronda Fuchs, Collaborative Facilitator and a member of the Collaborative Family Law Institute Board of Directors. “We stress to our clients that Mom recognize that she needs to support her children’s relationship with their father, especially on Father’s Day, despite the divorce.”
“The same philosophy should also be applied to Mother’s Day. The bottom line is that the parents treat each other with respect while acknowledging that they couldn’t remain married. This can only be accomplished through ongoing communication that supports flexibility and keeps the children’s best interests in the forefront.”
The Collaborative Process offers a distinct departure from the more traditional approaches to divorce and has the advantages of:
• Control of outcomes, and
• Better use of resources (money, time, energy)
The Collaborative Process helps reset the dialogue, focuses on protecting children from the negative effects of divorce and results in parents being better able to co-parent in the future. It allows them to discuss potential conflicts and agree to ways to resolve them that are included in the parenting plan.
“The parents must strive toward putting their marital differences aside and recognize that they still have a responsibility as parents,” added Fuchs. “These holidays are important to maintaining a healthy family dynamic within the context of a divorce. Learning how to communicate post-divorce can pave the way for maintaining a healthy family environment for Mom, Dad and, most importantly, the children.”