Co-Parenting in Anger

Co-Parenting in Anger

A good piece by Miriam Novogrodsky of the HuffPo, about the effects of lingering anger between parents upon the children, which really made me think about anger and kids.
I often like to tell my clients that being able to move on from anger in their divorce or split-up (a lot of custody cases aren’t between married people) is valuable and necessary for both their own health and their children’s health.

“. . .they will see their ex at their child’s occasion, and have a knot in their stomach from that simmering resentment.”

Even when we have a client that “wins” (I try to avoid to use that word regarding custody of children), I tell them that they need to let go of the anger against their ex, even if well-deserved.  This is especially so because they’re going to share this connection of their child for years to come.  There will be happy occasions like their child’s school performance or graduation — and if they are still holding that anger — they will see their ex at their child’s occasion, and have a knot in their stomach from that simmering resentment.  What should be a memorable, celebratory event becomes one of anger and discomfort.  Then I ask the question, “is that ‘winning’?”  Because to me, really “winning” means being happy and having happy, healthy kids.  A parent putting aside one’s anger against their ex is good for both them and their children.

— Gavin, 4/12/2012

About Gavin K. Doi

Gavin, a founding partner of Doi/Luke, was born and reared in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, graduating from McKinley High School, and receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in Denver, Colorado. Previously, Gavin worked with the Child Support Enforcement Agency and the AmeriCorps Domestic Violence Clinic. An advocate of pro bono legal work, Gavin volunteers time with Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii and the Hawai’i State Bar Association. In 2013, Gavin co-authored the book Child Custody Litigation and Settlements (Aspatore Books/Thomson West), penning the section "Working with Your Client Towards a Successful Child Custody Case." Gavin is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association and the HSBA Family Law Section, and was presented with the 2002 Justice Award by the Hawaii State Bar Association, which honors one lawyer annually for their outstanding contribution to the ideals of justice. The Hawaii Access to Justice Commission honored Gavin in 2012 for his pro bono service to the community. Gavin has extensive experience in divorce, paternity, child custody, child support, restraining orders, and other family law matters, and has a Distinguished rating with Martindale-Hubble®/, and an Avvo rating of 10 out of 10. He can be e-mailed at: .

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *