A qualified therapist working specifically with the children, someone they can trust and feel comfortable with, is an important factor to be considered during this time. The other bit of practical advice I can offer from our experience is that it was our unwavering emunah, the belief that we were following what Hashem – G-d – wanted from us that helped to get us through. It is important that the motivation be that of wanting what is best for the children, not just a way to hurt your former spouse. Not only did we seek advice and direction from qualified attorneys and mental health professionals, most importantly there were rabbanim who helped guide us in our plight.
The fact is that children eventually “age out” of the system that tries to define and enforce what is deemed “in the best interest of the child.” If they are lucky, their battling parents learn to navigate their differences and compromise even before then.
Yehudit welcomes and encourages input and feedback on issues relating to the Blended Family and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.