Carlsbad Family Law Attorneys

The New Normal–When Parents Divorce

One of the most difficult, heart wrenching aspects of parents divorcing is the fact that in most cases, each of you will have nights when you don’t put your kids to bed and mornings when you wake up without them. None of us anticipates this in those early bonding months when most people fall in love with their babies and can’t imagine being deprived of their presence. But when marriages fail, this is the reality. How best to cope…

I am writing this from the perspective of a long time psychotherapist who has worked with many such families and my own experience of a divorce when my son was 4 and remarriage to a man who was deprived of ongoing contact with his young daughters—I have “been there”. While my first suggestion may sound counter intuitive regarding the best interests of the child, believe me it is not and is terribly important for both you and your children. I encourage you to develop or perhaps re-engage with non-parenting activities that interest you, whether it is taking up an old hobby, reconnecting with friends, or learning a new skill; all of these activities will help you deal with not being with your children when it is “not your time”. They are excellent distractions for you and helpful to your child in knowing that mommy or daddy is “ok” when you are not with them and they do not have to worry about you (as children often do.) As you say good-bye reassure them that you will be doing something you enjoy and will be fine and even when you feel sad, in most cases the energy of the new activity will help you cope with this.

What about contact with your children when they are staying with the other parent? What are the best ways to handle this. Of course much depends on the needs of each child and their developmental level. But there are some general guidelines. With children under the age of 5 I recommend no contact if the visit is just a few days—phone calls are often confusing and almost always disruptive to their current activity. I know many parents want the opportunity to speak with their young children at least once a day, and if you are unwilling to forego this, try to make the timings of the call consistent preferably at the end of the day and very brief. You are doing this for your own needs, not the child’s, so try to take ownership of this. With children between 5 and 10 who are comfortable talking on the phone, again keep the chats brief and at a consistent time. Try to be upbeat and do not give them information about what is going on in their other home, unless they ask for it. Children older than 10 probably have their own phones and I would leave the calling up to them with-out making any demands related to your own needs. A postcard can be meaningful (a friend told me that his 4 yr old grandson carried around a card he sent him from a vacation until he saw him again.) If you keep in mind the needs of the child, rather than your own needs for contact (see suggestion 1) you will probably make the right choice.

What about greeting your child after s visit with the other parent. A hug and one or two brief questions should suffice. As difficult as this may be, do not make judgements about the experience and of course do not try to get information about your ex from the child. Encourage them to share any concerns they might have about the visit with that parent and try not to run interference (except for young children when this may be necessary). It is quite normal for kids to not want to share much about their visit so try not to push for this. Again keep in mind the needs of your child, rather than your curiosity (or contempt) about your ex.

We all want what is in our children’s best interest. Successfully negotiating visitation can be very difficult for the adults involved but the benefits to our children are immense if we can learn to do this well.

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Meet Our Team 

Honest. Fearless. Bold.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq.
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq.
  • Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq.
  • Joshua Yee, Esq.
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.
  • John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Prior to opening Griffith, Young & Lass, he worked as the managing partner of one of the largest family law firms in North County San Diego.
    John N. Griffith, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    Catie E. Young excels in child custody cases and move-away trials. She has a unique approach to child custody cases and clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases. Since joining the firm, she has continuously brought her zeal and compassion to representing clients in child custody and domestic violence cases, and in December 2011, she became a partner at Griffith, Young & Lass.
    Catie E. Young, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS

    Partner

    Amy Lass, a certified family law specialist, was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting. Amy went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006.
    Amy J. Lass, Esq., CFLS Photo
  • Shirin Asgari, Esq. Shirin Asgari, Esq.

    Associate

    Attorney Shirin Asgari has a broad spectrum of legal experience and has handled matters in family law, criminal law, business law, and national security law. Currently, she focuses on family law matters and is a strong advocate for the rights of her clients. She dedicates time and attention to the needs of each client and the unique circumstances their case presents.
    Shirin  Asgari, Esq. Photo
  • Eric Cowdery, Esq. Eric Cowdery, Esq.

    Associate

    Eric Cowdery earned his bachelor’s and Master’s degrees before earning his JD from Golden Gate University as part of the Honors Lawyering Program. He was admitted to the California Bar Association in 2013 and has been working diligently in the field ever since. Taking a personalized approach to each case, Eric Cowdery is committed to working with clients to help them through the often confusing and complex legal process of divorce.

    Eric  Cowdery, Esq. Photo
  • Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq. Jeffrey Wittliff, Esq.

    Associate

    Jeffrey Wittliff is extremely attentive to his cases and believes in thorough preparation and the value of regular client communication. Behind the scenes, he has an extensive background in research related to all areas of family law, propounding discovery when necessary, and negotiation to settle cases with opposing parties.
    Jeffrey  Wittliff, Esq. Photo
  • Joshua Yee, Esq. Joshua Yee, Esq.

    Associate

    Attorney Joshua Yeereceived his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, from the University of California, San Diego. Joshua went on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from University of San Francisco. His experience working with a local Certified Family Law Specialist solidified his desire to become a family law attorney. Since becoming an attorney, Josh has exclusively practiced in family law.
    Joshua  Yee, Esq. Photo
  • Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq. Shaudi Malekzadeh, Esq.

    Associate

    Shaudi Malekzadeh is a Carlsbad family law attorney at Griffith, Young & Lass, advocating for the rights and interests of Southern California families in a variety of family law cases, such as child custody, alimony, spousal support, and the division of community property. She is committed to delivering effective legal representation to our clients, aggressively advocating for their legal rights, and offering compassionate legal advice.
    Shaudi  Malekzadeh, Esq. Photo

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