1. 52. Get Over It! Why so bitter after all these years? Diane Dierks & Rick Voyles 31:46

Diane & Rick address Carolina’s email about her hateful ex-husband, who is remarried with a new baby five years after the divorce – but still has a major axe to grind with her even though she is trying to include him in major decisions.  What causes some people to hang on to their vengeful attitudes many years after the divorce? Find out in this episode!

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Diane talked about research regarding how the well-being of the custodial parent is vital to good outcomes in children (and why torturing or making your other parent's life miserable is not going to fare well for your kids). Here is more info on the subject:

  •  Functioning of the primary residential parent is important. According to Lye (1999),  “Children of divorce do better when the well-being of the primary residential parent is high. Primary residential parents who are experiencing psychological, emotional, social, economic, or health difficulties may transfer these difficulties to their children and are often less able to parent effectively.” However, she also found that well-being improves with time since the divorce. According to Furstenberg & Cherlin (1991), “It is likely that a child who alternates between the homes of a distraught mother and an angry father will be more troubled than a child who lives with a mother who is coping well and who once a fortnight sees a father who has disengaged from his family.” Further, Johnston (1995) said that “Joint custody is especially harmful when one of the parents is abusive, rigid, manipulative, or angry that he [or she] is divorced.”  Kelly and Emory (2003), in their research review article, conclude that “When custodial parents provide warmth, emotional support, adequate monitoring, discipline authoritatively, and maintain age-appropriate expectations, children and adolescents experience positive adjustment compared with children whose divorced custodial parents are inattentive, less supportive, and use coercive discipline.” 
    • Furstenberg, F.F., Jr., & Cherlin, A.J. (1991), Divided Families: What Happens to Children When Parents Part. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 
    • Johnston, J.R. (1995), Children’s adjustment in sole custody compared to joint custody families and principles for custody decision-making, Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 33, 415. 
    • Lye, D.N. (1999). What the experts say: Scholarly research on post-divorce parenting and child well-being, Report to the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission and Domestic Relations Committee. 
    • Kelly, J.B. & Emery, R.E. (2003). Children’s adjustment following divorce: risk and Resilience perspectives. Family Relations, 52, 352-362.

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DIANE DIERKS is a licensed marriage and family therapist, as well as the executive director of the Center for Navigating Family Change (www.CNFC.org), a non-profit that provides court-ordered parenting education and co-parenting services to the state of Georgia. She has been a parenting coordinator and reunification therapist for many years, and provides consultation and expert witness services in high conflict custody matters. She resides in St. Simons Island, Georgia, with her husband and their three-legged Lab mix and one-eyed Yorkie. She has two grown children and two grandchildren.

RICK VOYLES is CEO of the Center for Dispute Solutions, as well as a certified business coach, an anger management specialist and a professional mediator. Rick travels internationally, training and developing federal mediators in their agency ADR programs. He is a published author, business coach and entrepreneur. He has developed an online Mediation Training including over 17 video presentations. He has also produced a TV program, “Conflict, Mediation and You” where he discusses topics in conflict management, as well as mediation techniques. Rick is a subject matter expert in the areas of Divorce, Co-parenting, Negotiation, Cross-cultural Communication and Conflict Resolution. He frequently teaches court-ordered co-parenting seminars and is a trained parenting coordinator. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Janet.