Want to have an amicable divorce? Stop trying to control what happens at the other parent’s house

Leanne Townsend is the founding partner of Townsend Family Law. Each month, our team sends out a newsletter full of helpful tips, advice and insights to help you navigate through family law challenges.


Leanne’s Divorcing Well podcast: Unique challenges facing divorced dads

Forging an effective co-parenting relationship doesn’t happen by accident — former spouses must be intentional about prioritizing their children’s needs after a family separation.

On a recent episode of the Divorcing Well podcast, Leanne Townsend spoke with Florida divorce attorney A.J. Grossman about the steps parents can take to have an amicable divorce.

Reducing conflict is step one, and that may entail changing how you communicate with your former spouse, A.J. says. As much as possible, he suggests eliminating emotion and judgement from your communications, whether they occur face-to-face or over email/messaging.

Step two is to stop controlling what happens at the other parent’s home and recognize that you only have control over how you show up.

If you are locking horns with your co-parent and looking for tips and strategies for better communication, you won’t want to miss this episode.

Listen on Apple or Spotify.

Divorce bucket list: 10 things you must do in your first year after separating from your spouse

The first year after a divorce is arguably the most difficult.

Fortunately, there are a host of things you can do to ease the burden.

First on the list: You’re going to want to find new ways to relax, unwind and invest in yourself. This can include picking up a new hobby, committing to an exercise regimen or making new connections through social groups or outings.

The first year is also ideal for doing things you maybe didn’t have time for when you were married — such as visiting a far-away friend, sitting down with a financial planner, or checking something off your bucket list.

Most important, however, is learning to forgive yourself. Whether you were the one who hurt your ex-spouse or made a few mistakes in the marriage, give yourself permission to let go of the wrongdoing. You deserve to live a happy, amazing life.

Parents going through a divorce should guard against gaslighting their children

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that causes individuals to doubt their memories, beliefs, feelings, or sanity.

One of Merriam-Webster’s Words of the Year in 2022, the term is often used in reference to misinformation — but parents can also be guilty of gaslighting their children, particularly when going through divorce or separation.

In this context, it typically involves a lie and then a cover-up of that lie, which causes the child to doubt themselves. Say, for instance, the phone rings and the child thinks it’s their dad calling — but when they ask their mom to talk to him, she lies and says it’s someone else.

When these types of lies occur frequently over time, they can result in long-lasting issues with trust and intimacy — and even permanently damage the parent-child relationship.

Highlights from Divorce Explained

Every week, Leanne Townsend co-hosts an Instagram Live show with family lawyer Steve Benmor, where they discuss issues on the minds of those who are divorced or divorcing. Here are the topics from a couple of recent shows. Click on the photo to check out the full episode.

Social media and divorce: guidance for couples

Bashing your spouse on social media as you go through a divorce might feel good in the moment, but could it come back to bite you in court. In this episode, we discuss social media etiquette for separating couples.

What is exclusive possession of the matrimonial home?

There are a lot of misconceptions about the matrimonial home, and in this episode we address them all, including what constitutes a marital home and who has the right of possession under the Family Law Act.

Looking for more information?

Looking for more information on what to expect during a divorce, abusive relationships, love and money, life after divorce or other family law topics?

Check out the In the News and Blog sections of my website where there’s a wealth of great content to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.

Leanne Townsend, Family Lawyer

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP
Brookfield Place161 Bay Street,
Suite 2900,
Toronto, ON M5J 2S1

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Leanne Townsend Lawyer and Divorce Coach
Leanne Townsend is a multifaceted entrepreneur and attorney experienced in the areas of family law and domestic violence. She provides a full range of family law legal services in addition to running workshops and other programs to support people as they go through divorce.

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