By Pamela Edwards-Swift, CFLS

It’s the New Year! 2011 has arrived along with New Year’s resolutions which have been around for millenniums. New Year’s resolutions, according to my recent Google search, began in 153 B.C. For thousands of years we have been committing to quitting smoking, eating well, exercising and adopting a myriad of other healthy habits for our body and soul. When a couple is divorcing, committing to resolutions for a “successful” divorce can be, with a little bit of effort, a way to reduce the stress related to divorce. Here are a few to get you started:

I will not use Facebook (or any other social media) to discuss my divorce It is important to remember that everything you place in writing and into cyberspace can, and will, be seen not only by your friends, but also by those with whom you are not so friendly. Family law attorneys use Facebook, My Space and e-mail postings regularly as exhibits to use against individuals in court proceedings.

I will not speak badly about the other parent when I have my children. Speaking poorly to, or about, the other parent in front of the children damages the children and can also harm your relationship with the children. This resolution takes it one step further. Children have ears, big ones. Even if you are not speaking to the children directly, or in their presence, they will hear you speaking to others. It is best not to speak poorly about the other parent at all when you have the children.

I will keep a diary. Keeping a diary can be very helpful, especially in custody disputes. Keeping a diary of contact between the children and the other parent is a useful tool in custody proceedings. Memories fade and written records, if recorded as they occur, can be used, not only to refresh your memory, but also as evidence to prove certain facts.

I will listen to (and take the advise of) my attorney. This really is an easy one. Most attorneys have their client’s best interest in mind. When we give you advise on what to do, or what not to do, know that we are looking out for you. Do what we tell you to do. By doing so, it will make the divorce process easier on you and will keep your attorneys fees down.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but it gives you a start. Take time to think about your ultimate goal, and what you can do to work toward it. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. By making resolutions at the beginning of the divorce, it will help you to focus on your ultimate goal and act in a manner to, hopefully, lead you to that goal.


Pamela Edwards-Swift, Certified Family Law Specialist, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014; Southern California Super Lawyer