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10 Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & L. 164 (2002-2003)
Easing the Pain of Divorce for Children: Children's Voices, Causes of Conflict, and Mediation - Comments on Kelly's Resolving Child Custody Disputes

handle is hein.journals/vajsplw10 and id is 174 raw text is: EASING THE PAIN OF DIVORCE FOR CHILDREN: CHILDREN'S
VOICES, CAUSES OF CONFLICT, AND MEDIATION
COMMENTS ON KELLY'S RESOLVING CHILD CUSTODY
DISPUTES
Robert E. Emery*
Without a doubt, Joan Kelly has been and remains one of the
foremost experts in crafting interventions with divorcing parents
designed to truly promote children's best interests in divorce. Her
overview of legal and psychological interventions places the focus
squarely where the focus should be, namely, on conflict in the
relationship between former partners who remain parents., Like it or
not, the relationship between two parents continues even as a marriage is
ending.2 Because former partners cannot end their relationship, they
must renegotiate if they are going to be effective co-parents and promote
resilience in their children.3
Not all divorces are the same. Not all divorcing couples, or the
professionals who work with them, are prepared at the same time to hear
and accept the message that the parents' relationship is not over, that if
you have children, you can never completely be divorced.4 Kelly
recognizes this important dilemma and rightly focuses not only on
parental conflict, but also on a hierarchy of interventions - at different
stages in the divorce process - designed to promote more cooperative co-
* Ph.D., Director, Center for Children, Families, and the Law, Professor of Psychology, University
of Virginia.
1   See generally Joan B. Kelly, Psychological and Legal Interventions for Parents and Children
in Custody and Access Disputes: Current Research and Practice, 10 Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & L. 129
2002).
See Robert E. Emery, Renegotiating Family Relationships: Divorce, Child Custody, and
Mediation vii (1994).
3   See generally, id.
4   Id. at 33.

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