Maine, 11 out of every thousand people are involved in a divorce yearly.

Maine the state shows up, gets a score of 88 out of a 100 for ease of filing for a divorce. This according to a nationwide divorce review to see how the states all stack up in the USA.

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But what about the kids involved in a Maine divorce?

The Kids First Program has been supporting families of divorce since 1998. The four hour sessions, classes for parents are extremely helpful.

Input from others who have gone out into life after a divorce. The different stages of a divorce discussion from those in the trenches day to day helps those who have not done time yet avoid mistakes.

It is all about learning how to put the needs of the divorcing or divorced couple’s children first. While dealing with the legal, financial pressures of separation, post divorce adjustment. Any problem or issue is solved easier when you realize others are struggling with the same life transition.

But what happens in the case of a high conflict family during and after a divorce?

Eighty percent of divorces don’t land or stay in the high conflict category. But the ones that do work through family problems using bitterness, bullying, fear and anger. Instead of logically responding to a situation, an issue, high conflict divorce parents just react instead. Emotional upheavals hurt everyone.

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They are on a long difficult painful journey.

Like traveling fearfully through stormy weather into the unknown. Robbing the good times between parent and child. The common target to bull’s eye. For everyone in the family who sincerely wants the best for the son or daughter. Which at the beginning, end of each day is peace, love, respect and a healthy routine.

The kids especially that try to duck, strap on flak jackets but get caught in the not so friendly cross fire anyway.

It can happen because the angry, hurt parent is struggling, depressed, embarrassed, broke, lonely. Or continuing to bully, lie, cheat, steal or over power any way possible.To get the result they used doing it in the marriage. That fight for control that ended up causing the divorce. That put the transition into the works from household life on the rocks causing the shipwreck conditions.

So going with a knee jerk, think the worse gut reaction. The fight or flight kicking, over the top instinct that harms the children. Takes its toll in added stress, toxins for all involved surrounding the detonation. With parents who fall into the high conflict category of divorce using tiresome, harsh approaches to co-parenting. Of intimidation, cold shoulder treatment, sulking, dishonesty to discredit the other parent to make themselves look the better of the two.

Don’t alienate the other parent who the kids want to love along with you.

Communicate with respect. Keep it civil and business like. Avoid contentious transition times when the kids go back and forth from the two households. Make it a neutral “pass the kids please” location if you can not as a parent respect the other’s home. If you walk in like you own the place and nothing has changed since the divorce, the move.

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Respect the other ex’s space.

Their mates. The blended families. Don’t share with the kids, feel sorry for being alone, or get self absorbed as a parent missing your kids. But instead turn that corner quickly.

Making it an all out effort into creating the visits, the meals, activities, any time you do have the best it can for your family. So they can look back and have happy thoughts. Holidays, lots of moments with each parent to reflect on and adopt into their parenting style.

The kids of a divorced couple are watching, learning and can feel peace, calmness and a loving spirit.

Or live in fear. Eventually end up wanting to get away from the negative atmosphere. That takes two to create. The unhappy children ending up coping in unhealthy ways. Or simply distancing themselves from both divorced parents to survive the warfare.

Because the reasons for the marriage breakdown continue to circulate. Instead of adopting ways in two shared households free of the poisonous air they have to breathe. And taking it’s toll on their future relationships because they missed out seeing ones that worked. Sometimes the problem is the divorced parents don’t act like they are. Still relying on the other for mental support.

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If he or she needs support or to talk about personal matters, each should call a friend, not the other ex.

There needs to distance, moving on to happen. To establish, maintain boundaries that create the safe space the kids expect. The critical spouse becomes the critical ex, co parent for a reason that may have nothing to do with you.

Or one co parent continues the denial that anything that goes astray is because of their doing. Everyone has inside homework to do. Crack the books. So each parent can move on in life and love. And the kids can too. Don’t end up confused, stuck without solid ground. With only thin ice to stand or build on.

Living in limbo is like treading water long after you lose feeling in your arms and legs.

Cold, numb, all alone. Where in the dark of night all hope can wane, depression can germinate and fully blossom. Kids are not equipped to handle that kind of pressure or mind game battle conditions turmoil. They are counting on the parents to “make it all better”.

If there is a blur, or one is stuck and hoping for reuniting. Or just lack of setting boundaries for the ex, the kids to follow. That just adds to the confusion of setting the stage. For how life will unfold, the set of expectations crystal clear. To help moving on for the kids, for each parent in life after a divorce.

Grandparents, extended family, teachers, coaches, ministers, neighbors and the entire community in a small Maine town all help raise the kids. Take their turn. Don’t leave anyone out and keep it light, bright, upbeat around the kids. Our greatest resource and the most rewarding responsibility, honor any of us has on this Earth to be a parent.

I’m Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker