Category : Divorce Issues

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Post-Divorce DIY Healing

Post-divorce DIY healingDivorce has a knack for making you feel angry, remorseful, hurt, empowered, confused, and so many other emotions your head and heart feeling like they’re going to spontaneously combust. Experiencing these emotions (especially confusion) rings dangerously true for the divorcees who never saw it coming. We’ve written a lot about the divorcee who benefitted and even wanted the divorce, but what about the divorcee who didn’t want the divorce? What about the divorcees who didn’t even see the divorce coming?

The Walking Wounded…

Forgive me for quoting such a chick flick, tear-jerking, sweat-pant-night movie choice, but Iris Simpkins of the 2006 movie “The Holiday” found the best words to describe what we’re talking about today:

“…there’s another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. It’s called unrequited love…Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone?…We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded, the handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space.”

But before you join in on a chorus of “Hear, Hear!” actually hear us out. Divorce may be horrible, and being on the receiving end of a divorce petition may be more than horrible, but there is the opportunity to live a life after the divorce dust settles.

…But Not the Walking Dead

After a divorce, it’s easy to find yourself making little slip ups, like saying “My husband/wife… I mean ex husband/wife…” While these little slip ups feel more like needles and sharp knives, it doesn’t have to be your lot in life forever. What you are in desperate need of is some healing and perspective.

The most common thing unsuspecting divorcees have to deal with is the question: “How do I move on when the person I built my world around just exited my life?” It’s quite a painful predicament to be forced to live “normally” day in and day out with the memory of a lost love nagging at your brain. Like Iris of “The Holiday” said, it’s like you’re handicapped without the perks. But what we want you to recognize is that you might feel like you’re a walking wounded, but at least you’re not a walking dead.

Life is still to be lived, and you can do it joyfully.

About Face

You can take a page from the heroines from “The Holiday” and visit somewhere new for a little while, but that can be expensive and difficult to work into your schedule. So let’s discuss the ways you can about face towards a happy, healthy life after divorce.

  • Create a new space. If you can’t vacate your life for a bit to recharge and boot up the new and improved you, then it’s time to reboot your daily surroundings. Put away, sell, or give away items that bring back painful memories, and replace them with things that make you happy. Make the renovations or life changes you always wanted to make but couldn’t when you had to consider another person’s wants.
  • Exemplify your best qualities. Before your marriage, you were a person who had qualities that enticed someone to marry you. Don’t forget this, and don’t forget the person you were, are, and will be by being yourself completely. It will be hard, but by doing this you will show your children (if you have any) how strong a person can be, which is a valuable lesson. Also, by taking pride in yourself you will learn to love yourself again.
  • Redefine your relationships. While you’re cleaning house of things and feelings that hold you back, do the same with people who make you feel negatively about yourself. In doing this, you will sort out the good friends from the false friends, and also learn to value your time and company. Additionally, this will brace you to redefine your relationship with your ex-spouse. They were your significant other, but now they are another person from your past; if you have children, their role needs to change from significant other to co-parent.

Parenting Teens After Divorce, Step 1: Laying the Foundation

78430272Like any great relationship and house, you must lay down a solid foundation for your teen’s life after a divorce. The way you approach the divorce, and talk about the divorce lays the foundation for your teen’s post-divorce life. If the divorce is a heated battle, your teen’s life will be more akin to a WWII trench than, say, a mall or movie theater. While you might scoff at the idea of NOT having a heated divorce, making sure your child remains intact is nothing to even sniff at.

So how exactly do you lay the foundation for a strong life post-divorce, and foster stellar communication with your teen? In three easy, communication-based ways. There may only be three to discuss, but they require some explaining, so we’ll tackle them one at a time.

#1: Loose the poker face.

Most parents (divorced or not) fall prey to their fears of losing control of their teen, so the communication becomes very stiff and awkward. Parents want to have open, honest conversations with their teens, but cannot reciprocate the type of communication they are asking to receive.

We are not saying all parents consistently lie to their teens, but most parents cannot seem to share their feelings and thoughts with their teens. The reason, we suspect, is that parenthood is such new territory at every step of the way, parents cling to the authority role with their teens for dear life. Consequently, the parent misses out on candidly bonding with their teen out of fear of losing respect and control.

However, what parents are really doing by parenting with a poker face is distancing their teen. All children (no matter age) learn by example from their parents. So if you’re withholding and resistant to sharing information and feelings, so will your teen.

How to Lose the Poker Face

We know, nothing in life is easy, but here are a few pointers on improving the communication lines between you and your teen:

  • Firstly, when it comes to divorce, know what is and isn’t fair game to talk about. You can share that you are feeling hurt and/or angry, but you should emphasize the feelings about the divorce is ONLY between you and your ex-spouse.
  • Never bad-mouth your ex in front of your child.
  • Enter a conversation willing to listen and understand, not scold or become offended
  • Know and watch for signs of your teen being uncomfortable or shutting down. Once you spot these, its time to halt the conversation and take a breather. You can always pick it up later.

Parenting Teens After Divorce, Step 2: Consistency

86540850Children are strange creatures that are made up of 50% you, 50% their other parent, and 100% themselves. They start out completely dependent on you for food, warmth, and comfort, and slowly begin moving farther and farther away. Then one day they magically turn into a teenager, on the cusp of autonomy but not quite there yet.

Teenagers may seem like an alien species, but parents just need to remember teenagers are still their children. Remember this throughout our discussion on parenting teens after divorce, because it will be your mental saving grace.

#2: You were, are, and will always be their parent.

Daddies and Mommies all over experience the day when their little angels no longer need them for survival. This day is seen as a blessing and curse because it means the parent can take a shower without worrying the child will find its own demise, but it also means the parent starts to question their role in the whole parent-child relationship.

Parents need to realize their role as parent will never change; it’s the parenting method that needs to change. For example, when your child was a toddler, parenting meant wiping their face and making sure they said please and thank you; now that your child is a teenager, parenting means guiding them to make good decisions and providing a stable environment.

Most people think a stable environment doesn’t really go in hand with a divorce, but can we please show you a few ways to make that a possibility?

How to Keep the Consistency

It’s true, divorce has a knack for uprooting a family. But ultimately it’s up to the parents to stabilize the family and structure the new family landscape. Divorce may physically change the family landscape, but the parents can level the ground so the children have a place to stand. Here’s how:

  • The rules your teen used to abide by during the marriage should be the rules your teen abides by after the marriage. Because your teen is a boundary tester (just like when they were in their terrible twos), it is your job to make them toe the line, because you are the parent. Married, divorced, separated, single, dating, alone and loving it, you are the parent.

  • Emphasize that the divorce doesn’t mean your teen no longer has parents. Mom and dad ended their marriage, but it doesn’t mean their parenting years are over. Parents aren’t just married people, they are people with children. Your teen may not have this straight in their head, but staying consistent with your parenting will clear that up.

  • Here is the best advice for the parents who feel guilty about putting their child through a divorce: The divorce was between you and your spouse, and the divorce can remain between you and your spouse as long as you maintain your role as parent.

Have you noticed the theme here? You are and will always be the parent. Just because you are divorced doesn’t make you any less of a parent or any less of an authority figure.

Parenting Teens After Divorce, Step 3: Preserve Childhood

89585334We’ve come to our last tutorial on parenting teenagers through a divorce, and we’ve saved the best for last. Step 1 was about establishing a strong communication line between you and your teen, and Step 2 was about effective parenting during the teen years. Step 3 is all about focusing on you, so you can let your child have their childhood. At first this might seem like an direct paradox, but hear us out and all will be clear.

#3: Let Them Be Young

During and after a divorce, a parent may be experiencing such a horrible time that their child steps up and becomes caretaker, confidant, and, inadvertently, co-parent. This phenomenon has been labeled as parentified children, which basically describes a child who has assumed parental duties at a young age. The most common example of parentified children are the eldest children of large families. These children are often called upon to be mommy’s or daddy’s little helper with wrangling their younger siblings, but its a slippery slope to taking on parental duties, cleaning duties, and eventually running the household.

In divorce, children (including teens) can become parentified children if their parent is perceived to be overburdened and so distraught they cannot function without help. Divorce marks a devastating time in any spouse’s life, but if there are children involved the parents must try to avoid casting their child in a caretaker role. It can be tempting to view your new familial situation as you and your child against the world, but be careful of stripping your child of their childhood.

How to Preserve Childhood

We don’t mean to scare parents into keeping their distance from their children, we just want parents to be aware of the consequences of their actions. There are a few ways to be emotionally close with your child, have great communication, and not parentify your child. Let us show you how:

  • Don’t talk to your teen like you would your friend. You and your teen can be friends, but know the difference between the two relationships. For example, with your friend you would vent about your ex, your feeling of despair, and your deep insecurities and doubts. With your child you can convey your feelings, but you shouldn’t ever bad-mouth your ex (their parent) or put doubt in their mind about your ability to keep it together. Doing those things would only trigger anxiety within your teen and trigger parentification.

  • Don’t make your teen the middleman between you and your spouse. This essentially forces your teen to play diplomat to two feuding countries. It will also put your teen in the awkward position of having to choose between their parents. If you had two children, would you want them to make you choose who you loved more? No. So don’t reverse the role on your child.

  • Don’t make your teen the sole source of your life and happiness. It places a great burden and responsibility on them, makes them miss out on activities, and it will leave you unsatisfied. Find something you can do alone for you; become a hiking fanatic, join a book club, or take up a new hobby. Keep yourself balanced, and you’ll bring balance to your household.

A Little Lesson About Taxes and Divorce

200264112-001Oh, tax season. The time of year when you can hear the clickety-clack of calculator buttons, and smell the nervous sweat on men and women alike. The only thing that could improve this glorious season is divorce.

…Said no one ever, not even tax specialists. In fact, the only thing that makes tax season worse is divorce (or is it the other way around?). But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, taxes can still be relatively simple as long as you know the basics. Where divorce is concerned, the tax basics are: deciding on a filing status, navigating the exemptions, and figuring out the tax refund.

Find Your Filing Status

Filing statuses are fairly cut and dry, so there isn’t too much confusion or misinformation about how to file your taxes. However, there are a few options available to couples who are separating or staying together.

Generally, a person’s legal filing status goes by what their status was at the end of the tax year. If you were legally divorced, or legally separated by or on December 31st, 2012, or living separate and apart for the last 6 months of 2012, then you will file as single or head of household. If you were still legally married by or on December 31st, 2012, then you will file as married.

However, married couples do have the option of filing taxes together or separately. So if you were still legally married by December 31st, and your and your soon-to-be-ex don’t want to file together, you may file as “married filing separately.” Just note that by opting to file married but separately, you are opting out of the tax benefits of filing as married; so if you and your spouse can tolerate each other it might be beneficial to give filing taxes together one more go.

Catch a Tax Break or Exemption

The most common and plentiful tax exemptions are for married couples with children; and the most common misconception divorced couples have about taxes is that they can both take exemptions for the child. Divorced couples can divide the exemptions, but there cannot be two people claiming exemptions for one child.

Most couples choose to alternate years claiming the children on their taxes. For example, the mother would claim the children on even years, and the father would claim the children on odd years. However, the parent with primary custody of the child usually claims the child every year. If the other parent pays for the child’s medical expenses, that parent may take those deductions.

Just as a little disclaimer, one child expense that is not tax deductible is child support. The parent paying the child support cannot take deductions for the payments made because child support is considered tax neutral.

The Tax Refund Raffle

That night, after filing taxes, everyone goes to bed with dreams of a big, fat tax refund dancing through their mind. Divorce does not dissuade this pipe dream of swimming in your tax refund, but here are ways to increase your little neat refund pile. As tax refunds go, married people with children they can claim as dependents have it pretty good.

As a divorcee, you may be hanging your head, but don’t despair for too long. Divorcees can get better tax refunds if they pay alimony, if they can claim any children as dependents, and more.

Have any more pressing tax questions? Leave a comment below and we’ll get to the bottom of it for you.

Nesting Into Divorce

Nesting child custody methodDivorce may not seem like something that can evolve, but attitudes towards divorce and divorce practices are evolving. A prime example of divorce evolution is collaborative divorce, which only become a practice around the 1980′s. Well, prepare yourself for the latest stage of divorce evolution, called “nesting.”

Nesting is a child custody plan that allows the children of divorce to stay in the same house, while the parents are the ones who shuttle back and forth. Nesting requires three houses: one where the children live, one where the father lives, and one where the mother lives. The idea is to allow the children to continuously live in one home to lessen the negative impact of divorce.

A Child Custody By Many Other Names

Just to add a little more confusion into the mix, nesting is known by a few other names. However, nesting (aka aparenting, aka birdnesting, aka kids stay) is a fairly simple custody method; just think of nesting as an extreme version of joint custody.

Basically, the parents each rent an apartment or place of their own, but keep the house they lived in together during the marriage. The parents create a schedule to decide which parent stays in the house with the children for a certain amount of time. A common nesting schedule alternates the parents in the house with the children weekly or bi-weekly.

Three Homes, Two Parents, One Big Problem?

While nesting might seem like a viable option only for Birkenstock-wearing, granola-eating, peace-talking divorcees, nesting is touted to be a viable option for anyone who can manage to put the kids first. However, nesting should only be used in cases that are completely without any kind of abuse (emotional, sexual, physical).

Still nervous about the thought of having to share a common dwelling with your ex-spouse? Yeah, we totally understand that, but everyone who has successfully used nesting as a custody method gives the same advice: Just step up.

Easier Said…

The most annoying direction is probably “Don’t try, just do.” Hearing this may make your blood boil, but just think about the empowering message hidden in the condescending package. In the context of divorce, just doing it and taking each day one at a time is basically all any divorcee can do.

So the “Just step up” argument for nesting is really not so offensive or blood-boiling, especially when the pay-off is emotionally stable children.

Is Nesting That Beneficial?

While the downside to nesting includes living in a home that smacks of your ex, and having to maintain two houses, the upside appears to easily outweigh the negatives.

Firstly, just the fact that the children aren’t expected to be on the ones dividing their time and love is a giant bonus. All the negative impacts (being put in the middle, feeling unstable and uprooted, being confused about the physical family structure, feeling uncomfortable and unaccommodated in their parents’ new spaces, etc.) divorce is said to have on children would be a lot less of an issue just by trying the nesting method.

Secondly, the parents would have to come to terms with being forever connected sooner rather than later. Since this is the main hang-up for parents after divorce, nesting essentially forces them to be the adult and deal with it, and fast.

Thirdly, nesting doesn’t have to be permanent and allows the family to take their time in deciding how to handle the divorce. Nesting could be used as a transition parenting plan, it could be temporary, or it could be permanent. Nesting allows the family to avoid making rushed, emotion-based decisions.

What do you think about nesting? Does it give you the heebie-jeebies, or does it peak your interest?

Can NC Manufacture “Healthy” Marriages

82770193There are many laws and bill in the works that would make it more difficult to get a divorce in various states. The most recent state to make motions to impose stricter divorce laws on their citizens is North Carolina. Senator Austin Allran of Hickory, North Carolina, and Senator Warren Daniel of Morganton, North Carolina are the main supporters of House Bill 518. HB 518 is also known by the monicker of The Healthy Marriage Act, which lends itself to some interesting arguments against the “Healthy” Marriage Act.

HB 518

HB 518 is some very interesting legislation that seems to be working from the wrong side of a healthy marriage. This bill proposes to make a divorcing couple observe a 2 year waiting period before any action to divorce can be taken.

The spouse instigating the divorce must file an intent to divorce with the court, and notify their not-too-soon-to-be-ex of the beginning of their 2 year waiting period. HB 518 graciously makes no demand upon the couple to live separate and apart for the 2 years; and wouldn’t you know, the provision allowing couples to have “isolated incidents of sexual intercourse” in the current divorce law would remain intact in HB 518.

However, the couple must complete a few courses during the waiting period. Firstly, the couple must complete an improving communication skills course, and a conflict-resolution course. These courses have no requirement concerning time of completion, or length of course. Additionally, the couple may complete the courses separately.

If the divorcing couple has children, then there is one more stipulation. The couple must complete a course at least 4 hours long about the impact of divorce on children.

Fostering “Healthy” Marriages?

The “Healthy” Marriage Act basically describes laughable attempts at patching up a marriage. Senators Allran and Daniel could have really benefited from the counsel of the twins from the Parent Trap. But alas, HB 518 is not some hare-brained scheme from a family frolic film; HB 518 is a real piece of legislation officials are currently considering.

I’m sure the intentions behind HB 518 are pure and from the goodness of the Senator’s hearts, but a bill that extends the waiting period so long, and allows cohabitation and even sexual relations is just too much to be believed. If the Senators wanted to make a dent in the high divorce rate and foster healthy marriages, they should put their efforts into the other end of a marriage: the beginning.

No one wants to pose restrictions on love, ideologically. But lets be adults and face the fact that marriage is regulated through bureaucracy and legislation. If we wanted to give starry-eyed lovers the best chance at marriage, we would pass laws imposing things like marriage counseling and conflict resolution courses on prospective newlyweds.

The Grandparent’s Guide to Divorce

83496521Observing family dynamics and becoming a part of the dynamic is one of the best feelings in the world, which is a major perk of marriage. However, when the marriage doesn’t quite work out as expected, extricating yourself from the family dynamic is one of the most painful feelings. After all, you were all one big happy family for so long, so it’s jarring when the family is expected to pick sides and quickly part ways like simple acquaintances.

What if we were to tell you there was a way to stay connected after divorce? Actually, what we really want to tell you is that staying connected after divorce is the best possible thing for any children there may be from the marriage. Everyone involved in the divorce wants what is best for the children, and what is best is remaining connected as (what some might call) an eccentric family.

Grandfathering in New Expectations

Divorce has a knack for dividing families and making their interactions stiff and awkward, but it just takes one person in the family to take command and set the tone of the post-divorce family dynamic. Who better than the grandparents, the sages of the family, to set the tone and foster togetherness?

Well, there isn’t anyone better, because grandparents are just removed enough to avoid being parental, but loving enough to always care.

Parenting is Forever, Just Do it Grandly

Grandparents, just like everyone else in the family, feel confused, wary, and helpless when they watch their children go through a divorce. But grandparents are not so helpless because their wisdom, love, and support are the greatest tools to deal with a divorce. So for all you grandparents out there, don’t remove yourself from the situation; your family needs you.

Grandparenting your adult child doesn’t have to be invasive or controlling, it should be more supportive, loving, and offering. Instead of telling your adult child, “You should …, and then …,” offer ideas or support, like “You look like you need a break/talk/etc., why don’t I …”

There is one more piece of advice we have for grandparents: don’t push away your ex-son/daughter-in-law just because they are divorcing your child. It’s one thing to excommunicate an absent in-law, but another to excommunicate an in-law who is still very much involved in your grandchildren’s lives. If your child feels betrayed by the continued relationship between you and the ex, just calmly explain it’s in support of the grandchildren’s relationships with all the involved relatives (after all, the ex has supplied a set of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins too).

Grandparenting the grandchildren should be as neutral and supportive as possible. The grandparents house should be like a safe haven from all the confusing changes and emotional trauma because the grandparents house hasn’t had to alter at all in the divorce. Continue the usual routines and rituals practiced in the days before the divorce, don’t shy away from speaking about or to both parents, and don’t approach your grandchildren like they are damaged packages you’re uncomfortable around.

As a little side note, don’t allow yourself to be caught up in the role of family spy. If your grandchild comes to you for comfort and a willing ear, don’t take those words of trust and confidence and use them to arm your child with ammo against the ex. If you are on anyone’s side, you are on the grandchildren’s.

Essentially, your role as grandparent is to be the rock, the constant in your child’s and grandchildren’s lives. So don’t let yourself get caught up in pettiness or side-taking, because the family will be looking to you to set the tone of the post-divorce family dynamic.

The Reality of Divorce Realtors

divorce realtorThe world of divorce has seen many changes. Firstly, the word divorce does not raise eyebrows in the general public anymore. Secondly, the law is (slowly) changing to create balanced, fair rulings. And thirdly, divorce has become a kind of specialty group, a niche. There are shows dedicated to divorce (some reality, some dramatic, comedic, and more); major news sources have whole sections dedicated to divorce; divorce party planning has become a viable business venture; and now, divorce realty is thing.

Divorce realty is a specialty of a few, and a mystery to most. The New York Times recently uncovered this new sector of realty, and we are very excited and intrigued. Vicki Stout and Bob Bailey-Lemansky are real estate agents for Keller Williams Suburban Realty of New Jersey who are proclaimed divorce specialists. Other local real estate divorce specialists, like Frances Katzen, Michael Shapot, Elayne Reimer, and Victoria Vinokur, also shared their experiences.

What could a real estate agent possibly specialize in divorce, you might ask? Well, they specialize in selling the homes of divorcees, of course.

Separate, but Still Equal

Divorce realty is more than calling both homeowners about scheduling viewings. Stout and Bailey-Lemansky are the first real estate divorce specialists in New Jersey, and so far that includes being well-versed about how divorce affects property ownership, the divorce process, and how to handle clients who might have, say, restraining orders in place.

In this light, a divorce realtor is much more complex than the simple job of realtor; divorce realtors have to prepare for different scenarios, play therapist and legal counselor, and find a way to make two magnets meet in the middle to agree.

No Passion, No Dice

In a job where you are literally stuck in the middle of a divorce all the time requires one thing: passion. Without a passion for being the no-win middle man, you cannot do your job and do it well. But Stout, Bailey-Lemansky, and the other divorce realtors are thriving, thanks to a few hard-learned tricks for their divorce realtor tool belt.

Divorce Realty Trick #1: Keep the divorce hush hush. Keeping the divorce on the down low is not out of shame or fear of offending buyers, it is out of respect for the sellers. The divorce realtors have noticed prospective buyers operating under the assumption that divorcing sellers are desperate to make a sale. The result: buyers lowball sellers, and no one is happy.

Divorce Realty Trick #2: Fill the void. When a couple is going through a divorce, their house probably reflects that. One side of the closet is probably empty, there are probably a few bare nails on the walls, and missing appliances or furnishings. Luckily, divorce realtors expect and prepare for these things. Divorce realtor Michael Shapot, for example, borrows used clothing from friends and family members to make sure a client’s house doesn’t betray the white elephant in the room (or house).

Divorce Realty Trick #3: Make the best of it with the clients. A divorce realtor is composed, prepared, and ready for clients who are going through a traumatic time. As such, divorce realtors are more than willing to work with clients who need maybe a little extra time and patience. Reimer, one realtor from the NY Times article, recounted divorcing clients who divided their living quarters so strictly that when showing the house, Reimer had to show the husband’s half of the house and then reschedule to show the wife’s half. The only advice divorce realtor’s have is to have patience with the divorcees.

SPLIT: How Kids Really Feel About Divorce

dv1940064Divorce is an event, a lifestyle, a “thing,” a freak occurrence, and/or a game-changer. No one is exactly sure what divorce is, but there is one thing we do know: It affects families in unique, very personal ways. But the divorce rate stays its course at a cool 50%, and affects more children as the population rises.

One filmmaker decided it was high time the children affected by divorce had complete control of the floor. Ellen Bruno, a San Francisco filmmaker and former international relief worker, raised money on Kickstarter to fund her latest documentary, “Split”. The documentary is scheduled to be released on June 8th later this year, with the  SPLIT website already collecting orders for the DVD.

Kids Run the Show

The SPLIT website displays a startling statistic: “Almost half the children in the U.S. will experience their parent’s separation before the age of 16 — more than any other county in the western world.” This little known fact is possibly what caused Bruno to create a documentary about divorce and include interviews only from children.

The opinions, stories, information, and advice in “Split” comes from children between the ages of 6 years old and 12 years old. In an interview conducted by Vicki Larson, Bruno divulged that she originally scheduled filmed interviews with 18 children. But through the course of several the interviews, Bruno said “it was clear within minutes that it would not be helpful to them to have this conversation, so we stopped.”

And so Bruno’s documentary became the musings and outlet of 12 children between the ages of 6 and 12 who had gone through a divorce.

No Minor Status, No Service

Most (if not all) documentaries include footage of a professional to provide viewers a credible source to learn from. But “Split” is one documentary that is completely “professional” free.

“Kids are wise and intuitive, and when given the space to share their experiences, they speak truth that is clear and profound,” says Bruno. “And kids listen to other kids, often far more attentively than they listen to adults.”

This is a novel, yet completely understandable stance to take when creating a documentary about how divorce affects children. The children who have gone through a divorce may not be certified, and may not have a diploma hanging on the wall of an office, but they certainly are experts of their own familial situation.

In watching the sneak peek videos, there is no need for the camera to swivel to a therapist, sitting behind a desk, explaining what the child means when she says, “It’s like something that you really love, like, breaks, and you can’t put it back together, kind of.”

Survivors

But “Split” is not about doom, gloom, and the end of the world. On the contrary, “Split” is about children showing other children that life can, and does, get better. Bruno wanted this documentary, which is by, from, and for children, to balance the children’s realities with their expectations. Essentially, she wanted the documentary to commiserate and unite the children of divorce while simultaneously showing them the light at the end of the tunnel.

Bruno’s other motivation behind creating this documentary was to provide parents, therapists, and others a raw look at how children process divorce. Certainly, it’s a strange and looming topic for children so small, but it’s not insurmountable.