Louis C.K., one of my favorite standup comics, and the star of the FX series, “Louie,” has a serious side. It stems in part from his experience as a divorced dad of two young girls and the effective co-parenting relationship that he has with their mother.
In a recent NPR interview, Louis C.K. discussed his role as a divorced dad. He described the balance and harmony that can be achieved when children enjoy separate but quality time with each of their parents, when children aren’t torn by conflicting loyalties, and when they aren’t witnesses to, and feeling like the cause of, the conflict between their parents in a bad marriage. He also talked about taking good care of himself, creating a positive environment in which his children will flourish while they are with him, and how providing his children with a “good home” is a major motivating factor in his life.
In reading the interview, it’s also apparent that Louis C.K. and the mother of his children have developed a co-parenting friendship based on mutual respect, and, more importantly, the realization that such a partnership makes it easier for their children to love both of their parents, get the most out of their respective relationships with each parent, and provides their children with the security of knowing that their parents will work together to provide them with their needs.
Louis C.K.’s interview reiterated what various divorce studies have shown: it’s not divorce per se that is damaging to children – it’s a high level of conflict between divorcing parents that can cause significant harm to their children. By reducing the conflict between parents, we as divorce practitioners can certainly decrease the negative impact of divorce on our clients’ children. This is a child-centric approach to divorce and separation. An approach that in my experience inevitably leads to the right result.