Mediating Conflict,
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What can we learn about divorce from Brad and Angie?

Throughout Washington, the United States and the world, people everywhere, perhaps including you, are following any and all updates regarding the contentious, highly public divorce and child custody battle of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. They have six children and they’ve been in and out of court for quite some time now, battling over custody and addressing accusations involving alleged child abuse and substance abuse as well. If you are in the midst of divorce or just recently achieved a settlement, you may relate to their situation.

Whether or not someone has accused you of child abuse or you have accused your former spouse, and whether or not topics like alcoholism and drug abuse have crept into your divorce proceedings, there may be a few notable points you can take away from the Pitt/Jolie situation that can help you forge a healthy, happy path to your future.

Emotions and physical health often intertwine

One of the things Jolie said is that it’s never a good idea to put yourself last for so long that you wind up in poor health. She also noted that emotional health often manifests itself in physical health. Jolie actually suffered from Bells Palsy over the summer and says she is fairly sure her decline in health was due to stress. The following ideas may help you work through your own emotions after divorce and may also alert you to potential health-related problems:

  • Take time for yourself: If you have suddenly become a single parent, you likely want to do your best (especially if you’re also the custodial parent) to provide for your children’s needs and let them know you are there to support them. However, Jolie said it’s equally important to nurture yourself so you stay strong and at peace.
  • Privacy is important: You may not be living as in a fish bowl like the average Hollywood superstar, but people in your community, your extended family or at work do not need to know every small detail regarding your marital split.
  • Negotiating outside of court is sometimes possible: Pitt and Jolie were unable to achieve an amicable settlement as they battled out child-related matters and faced social service investigations, meetings with counselors and other third party situations. Eventually, they reportedly came to an agreement on their own; if you do this, the court merely needs to approve your proposed plan.
  • Do what’s right for you: As a Hollywood star, everyone seems to have an opinion regarding Jolie’s lifestyle. Some say traveling with her children is won ton and unhealthy for them. She sees it as a great blessing that helps educate her children and helps them develop strong spirits and compassion for their fellow man. In short, you know what’s best for your kids, so try not to pay attention to public opinion as you make plans for a new family lifestyle.

Hopefully, once you and your former spouse come to an agreement on all the crucial issues pertaining to your children and your divorce, things will go smoothly from there. Don’t be surprised if some sort of obstacle arises now and then, as is often the case when people who have been married a long time and have raised children together decide to call it quits on their personal relationship.

If you face a particular problem that raises legal issues, you may want to head to court with an experienced advocate by your side rather than go it alone as doing so often increases your chances for finding a swift and agreeable solution to your problems.