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The Divorce Survival Guide Podcast

May 20, 2021

In many states, courts mandate divorcing parents to take a co-parenting class. And as we often discuss in my Facebook group, many parents leave these court-mandated classes traumatized because the very first thing they teach is that divorce is terrible for your children. 

While the research doesn’t support this being true (and you’d think educators in this arena would, you know, read the research), what’s worse is that this is often the very last thing parents who’ve gone through a long and difficult process have to do before finalizing their divorce — and this is what they’re being told??

In response to these types of mandated courses, Dr. Don Gordon has created a program for parents and co-parents that is skill-based, takes a non-shaming approach to co-parenting, and is actually helpful

Dr. Gordon joins me this week to talk about the Center for Divorce Education’s, Children in Between program. He is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Divorce Education and has over 40+ years of experience as a clinical psychologist and researcher targeting the reduction and prevention of juvenile delinquency. During our conversation, he also shares some of the most important skills co-parents need to use with each other before, during, and after divorce.  

“If you are going to go to a parenting class - the point of it is to have better ways of parenting and co-parenting so your behavior changes and improves.” Dr. Don Gordon, PhD

Show Highlights

  • How Dr. Gordon learned about the difficulties children experience as a result of divorce and created a course based on his findings. (4:55)
  • One of the most damaging aspects of divorce on children is when parents involve their children in loyalty conflicts. (7:46)
  • Your point of view isn’t necessarily in the best interest of your children. (11:54)
  • The trauma of taking court-mandated courses. (13:55)
  • The most important skills co-parents need to use with each other. (17:38)
  • When you take a step back, you have a chance at controlling what you are putting out. (26:38)
  • For someone who is looking to improve their co-parenting skills and their ex is not reciprocal in their action - what can one do? Remember, YOU are being a role model for your children and that is one of the best reasons to make these changes. (28:40)
  • How parents can take the Center for Divorce Education’s Children in Between program for court-mandated requirements. (41:50)
  • CDE’s High Conflict Solutions program. (45:39)

Learn More About Dr. Gordon:

Don Gordon is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Divorce Education. Dr. Gordon is a 40+ year clinical psychologist and researcher with an area of expertise targeting the reduction and prevention of juvenile delinquency.

During his 40 years of working with families, Dr. Gordon has studied the effects that different strategies have on reducing conflict within a family (both with parents and children). In the early 1980’s Dr. Gordon and his colleague Dr. Jack Arbothnot developed the Children in Between curriculum (formerly known as Children in the Middle) which is designed specifically to help change the behaviors of divorcing/separating parents who unknowingly place their children in the middle of their conflict, resulting in the most harmful of consequences which often lead to youth acting out in negative ways. For more than 20 years, Dr. Gordon has been providing parenting and co-parenting curricula that is skills-based, allowing families to take away from each course concrete, actionable steps that can be turned into behavior-changing habits. These results improve the lives of parents, their children, and their family unit overall.

Through CDE, Dr. Gordon continues to pursue research that challenges his own assumptions and strives to find best practices that continue to (a) help families reduce their conflict, and (b) help courts by providing families with tools that are proven to shift re-litigation rates and improve communication and interaction.

Resources & Links:
Center for Divorce Education
Center for Divorce Education on Facebook
The Good Karma Divorce, Michelle Lowrance


The Center for Divorce Education is an organization that provides separated parents with the tools and techniques necessary to navigate the difficult task of being a co-parent.

They currently offer an online parenting class called Children in Between. Anyone who is co-parenting can benefit from the class. Visit the link above to learn more.