Mommy Mentors Project
Baldwin-Basinger would have benefited from Child-Centered
By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

In his long career, award-winning author and divorce attorney, Ed Sherman, has experienced it all -- the acrimony, bitter custody battles and prolonged legal dramas played out in courtrooms day after day. According to Sherman, “in our adversarial system, courts are a forum where people are expected to fight – it’s designed that way!”
Little wonder so many couples facing divorce have been led into an ordeal that ultimately benefits only the divorce attorneys. With the Alec Baldwin-Kim Basinger case just the latest in a never-ending progression of high-profile examples of our legal system at its worst,

it’s time to step back and take the sound advice of attorney Sherman.

“In a sane universe,” notes Sherman,” people who are breaking up would be guided through a non-adversarial process of conciliation.” He explains that people would be encouraged to think about what’s best – and most fair -- for the kids first. Then couples would be encouraged to work with trained mediators and negotiators, rather than litigators.

The result would be a win-win solution for all involved. Well, maybe except for the litigators who thrive in the depths of an adversarial legal system. Today’s dysfunctional divorce system, Sherman notes, encourages battle. “The more trouble you have, the more money your attorney makes,” he reminds us. The rules of professional conduct promote your attorney to be aggressive and we’ve been conditioned to believe that is a good thing. “But it isn’t,” says Sherman. “It produces rich attorneys and tragedies like the Baldwin-Basinger family, every day by the hundreds.”

Thankfully, more and more attorneys are embracing what is being referred to as Complementary Divorce. These attorneys, along with mediators, focus their attention on creating as harmonious a resolution as possible, especially for couples with children. I call this process Child-Centered Divorce and am encouraging all professionals to educate their divorcing clients about the life-supporting and lasting advantages this concept provides for the entire family.

The Child-Centered Divorce philosophy should begin before you ever break the news to your children. In my new ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? I provide a fill-in-the-blanks template that parents can use to prepare a storybook, in advance of that dreaded conversation. The text provides six essential messages every child needs to hear – and accept – at this difficult time. The storybook, including photos and personal information about their family history, is a resource children can read over and over again, to help prepare them – with love and compassion – for the many changes ahead. The book includes commentary and advice from six professional therapists to help parents get through the weeks and months ahead in the most positive way possible.

Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, is a Certified Corporate Trainer, relationship seminar facilitator and author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? For free articles and other information abut Child-Centered Divorce visit To order the new ebook, visit


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