According to a FindLaw.com, January reflects a spike in divorces, giving it the title of “National Divorce Month”. Children are often the unfortunate victims in their parents’ decision, and resources to give a child voice to a decision that had nothing to do with them, but is affecting them to a great degree, are lacking, if not nonexistent.
Family-law attorney Amie Greenberg recognized this void, and with the help of her mother Dr. Barbara Greenberg, she took steps to fill it with the book, A Child’s View of Divorce.
As the divorced mother of two children, Amie gleaned from her own experience of the process. “We went through our process and one of the things that I realized in going through this process is that children needed a voice. Often children throughout this process get lost, and we wanted to give them a voice,” she said.
“We looked for books, and we really didn't find what we were looking for. In giving them a voice, it enabled us to have a platform from which other children can relate to the characters—Julianna and Nick in the books—and begin to heal.”
Lovingly illustrated by Monica Ek, A Child’s View of Divorce tells its story through Nick and Julianna, their feelings and emotions over their parents’ divorce, and how they are able to overcome and begin anew, just like their parents. The book comes in two volumes, telling Nick’s story from his perspective, and Julianna’s story from her perspective.
Children listen to and learn from other children, and there is no better way to express the changes associated with divorce than from one child to another. Because of the chaos and emotional pain inherent in divorce, parents often do not recognize that their children are going through as much as they are (if not more); yet children often lack the emotional understanding to process it.
“If you hear stories about parents who are divorcing, sometimes they don't know how to approach the topic with children,” Amie said. “This is a good way for parents to bring up the topic, and for therapy groups.”
A Child’s View of Divorce seeks to bring the topic to the forefront, and encourages children of divorce to discuss their feelings, the reactions to the changes, and find a place of healing and a “new normal” for themselves and their families. The book has been making an impact in the therapeutic world.
“We actually had the opportunity to give the books to a divorce support group in an elementary school,” Amie said. “The children read the books, and the therapists told us that they were able to relate to the characters and open up. And it really raised a lot of questions for them and they started talking. So that was really nice to hear.”
Amie Greenberg, JD, MBA practices family law in Beverly Hills, California. She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Pitzer College, her JD from the University of La Verne College of Law, and her MBA from the University of La Verne College of Business and Public Management. Amie's divorce experience was also what inspired her to pursue family law.
“When I started my divorce I was a stay-at-home mom. Because of my divorce, I went back and decided to practice family law. It was something I decided to do because I wanted to help other people going through the process and be an advocate for them, and help them understand what can happen if certain decisions are made. And to at least try to get them to cooperate on some level, if possible—it’s not always possible.”
Amie’s practice encompasses issues surrounding divorce such as custody, visitation support, spousal and child support, pre-nuptial or pre-marital agreements, and modifications of orders. “I do have my MBA and do some business consultation; so that makes me a little more well-rounded.”
Because of the book, Amie and her mother have expanded their expertise to contributing to online divorce resources that focus on divorce as related to children. “We write for Divorce Support Center and Family Affairs. You can also find our writings on the A Child’s View of Divorce website.
Both Amie and Barbara continue to work toward increasing the visibility of the books, and creating companion resources that will expand the book’s reach. “We would love for our books to be the basis where parents, children, therapists, and other professionals who help families with divorce start, and to use this as a resource—we would love that. These books are geared for younger kids. We have a few things in the works that are geared for an older age bracket.” A Spanish-language version of the books is also in the planning.
A Child’s View of Divorce is available in hardback and paperback on Amazon.com and as an e-book on Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and iTunes.
To book Amie and Barbara for speaking engagements, contact them through the A Child’s View of Divorce website.