Dr. Gitu Bhatia, a former family mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court, is a psychologist in private practice and adjunct faculty at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University. She teaches cross-cultural psychology and supervises students in their clinical work. Dr. Bhatia is on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Psychological Association. She is President of LACPA 2015 and has co-chaired the Diversity Committee of LACPA for past several years. She has also been on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association and has presented regularly at AFCC California and National conventions.
Divorce has many observable consequences for all involved, such as the legal, financial, and emotional. What are not always visible or talked about are the health consequences, both in the short term and the long run.
There are times when a child custody evaluation is the only option left for parents caught in a custody battle. It is a financially, and often emotionally, costly process for many families. Parents deciding what is ultimately more likely to be the best for their own children leads the children to feel more supported and loved than giving the option to trained professionals and judges. Parents are encouraged to try other means of resolving their conflicts, i.e., mediation or therapy. In the long run, these forms of alternative dispute resolution can potentially teach parents how to effectively problem solve, communicate, and co-parent.
The person who has been cheated on may feel as though the proverbial rug has been pulled out from underneath them. As they learn more about the "affair", they may begin to question everything about their relationship and everything about their lives together.
Families that come together post-divorce may need a different terminology than “blended family.” Blending something together connotes losing individual identities and forming a new collective identity. Invariably, something is lost when you attempt to form a new family unit with members with divided loyalties. Every member of the family may need reassurance that they matter and their feelings will always be considered.
"Not my circus, not my monkeys" is a Polish proverb that wisely describes the need to know when other people's feelings are your responsibility or not. While going through divorce, you have to manage many feelings for yourself and your children. Taking on other people's feelings and reactions can deplete your own resources.