Manely Firm - September 2019

All family law. All around Georgia. All around the world.

S eptember 2019

N ational F amily D ay Fami ly Doesn’t End Wi th Divorce

What I do revolves around family. I understand the importance of family, especially during some of the hardest times of our lives. Celebrating these ties, not only with our blood relations but also with friends and within blended families, is crucial. I’ve seen again and again how people come together to build relationships that last lifetimes and how they fall apart. National Family Day is celebrated on Sept. 26, which is a perfect opportunity to talk about the importance of long-lasting family ties, even if those ties have been tied in many different ways over the years. A principal fact I’ve come to understand is that family is forever. This extends from the moment two people are married and lasts throughout the rest of their lives, especially if they have children. Even if parents go through a divorce, family doesn’t end when someone leaves to build a new life; it only grows larger. Like it or not, a person will still be connected with their former spouse. Ensuring an amicable, productive relationship can be essential to a child’s growth. Children are exceptionally sensitive to divorce, and the environment surrounding the divorce will have a lasting impact on how they are affected. If, for example, a couple divorces and are particularly harsh to one another, it’s absolutely going to hurt the kids involved. However, if a couple divorces and remain on friendly or civil terms, it will support the children in many different ways. Shelia and I have a blended family, and we understand these types of situations very well. We strive to maintain relationships with our previous

“A principal fact I’ ve come to understand is that family is forever .”

spouses so all of us can work together to continue supporting our children. And even when a former spouse passes, that impacts the family, too. Families may morph, but they do not end. Maintaining relationships are even more difficult for families who live in different countries. We have so many clients who travel the world visiting children who live in a completely different culture than they do. One of our clients recently had their daughter for the whole summer for the first time. The client took her out to visit family members, many for the very first time, so she could get to know that whole side of her family.

divorce doesn’t sever a relationship. While parents may no longer be together, their children are going to grow up, fall in love, and maybe get married. Hopefully, children will want both their parents to attend their wedding. Later in life, those children will have children and want to have grandparents for their kids. Parents, divorced or married, must work together toward the shared goal of their kids’ well-being. By taking the initiative, they can ensure their children live full and loving lives. And I’m pretty sure this is what every parent wants. –Michael Manely

Parents must face a reality after going through a separation or creating a blended family: Their

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