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Out of the Mouths of Babes

M. Marcy Jones is a Virginia family law attorney, author, speaker, coach and advocate for change. She founded Graceful Divorce Solutions for many of the same reasons Ron and Robert founded The Law Collaborative and Ron and Robert on Divorce — to provide tools, information, and education to separated and divorcing people.

Ron and Robert often talk about the rights of children in divorce. You can read some of their articles on the subject here. I just discovered Marcy’s Top 10 List of Do’s and Don’ts for Parents Going Through Divorce, and I thought it fit so beautifully with The Law Collaborative’s 12 Inalienable Rights of Children, that I had to share it with you.

    Check out Attorney M. Marcy Jones Top 10 List of Do’s and Don’ts for Parents Going Through Divorce. Her article has some wonderful insight for parents, divorcing or not.

    The Inalienable Rights of Children

    I have the right to love whom I choose without guilt, pressure or rejection.

    I have the right to love as many people as I want; stepparents, relatives, and extended family, without guilt and without being made to feel disloyal. The more love I give, the more I have to give, and the more I receive.

    I have the right to a regular, daily and weekly routine; one that is not filled with alternating patterns and disruption.

    I have a right to visit both parents, regardless of grownup wants or wishes regarding convenience, money, or their feelings. I own visitation, it is my right, it is not the right of my parents.

    I have a right to be angry, sad, and fearful, and I have a right to express these feelings.

    I have a right to be protected from being exposed to the anger of my parents, to not be punished because they are angry at each other, or to see them punishing each other.

    I have a right to like both my parents, since they are both a part of me, and I have the right to be reassured that this is OK.

    I have the right not to blame or choose sides.

    I have the right not to have to make adult decisions.

    I have the right to remain a child and to not replace a parent in my duties, or to have to be an adult companion, friend, or comforter to my parents.

    I have the right not to ever have to choose with whom I live. This is a decision for wise adults. Having to make such a choice will always hurt someone else, and therefore myself. I have this right even when I’m a teenager and people wish I were able to choose, I can never choose between my parents.