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Author’s once-controversial book on divorce now matter-of-fact

Psychologist and author Constance Ahrons related in a recent media account how a book she authored a generation back encountered considerable blow back and ire following its release.

In fact, she says, third-party hostility was often the reaction aimed at her on a book tour and in interviews after she penned “The Good Divorce” nearly a quarter of a century ago.

That begs an obvious question: What was the focal point for all the negativity?

Essentially this: Ahrons’ chapters espoused the notion that, while going through the divorce process is seldom pleasant, divorce can spur positive outcomes.

In a nutshell, critics contended that Ahrons was encouraging divorce.

She emphatically denies any such assertion, stressing then and now the simple point that, if you’re going to get a divorce, get a “good” one.

What that means in her view is actually something quite direct and intuitive, especially when the intended audience is divorcing parents.

Here’s the bottom line: Work hard to downplay the “punitive aspects” of divorce, focusing instead on doing what it takes to remain a viable family unit following dissolution.

That doesn’t mean pushing a new spouse off to the side in order to stay close to a former partner, of course. What it connotes is effort undertaken with an ex-spouse to retain civility and ensure that the emotional bonds with children endure and that healthy growth continues into extended families.

That seems like an eminently matter-of-fact and even underwhelming proposition, doesn’t it?

And it goes far toward explaining Ahrons’ stated preference for collaborative divorce rather than litigated court-driven outcomes, when possible.

Questions or concerns regarding any aspect of divorce — including strategies that can best advance positive outcomes for children — can be directed to an experienced and empathetic family law attorney.

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