And it’s all small stuff, right?  Not necessarily.  In my own situation, with sons ages 11 and 12, my ex and I are currently co-parenting cooperatively, with the children living with me on alternate fortnights.  I am deeply involved in our children’s lives, as is their mother.  Therefore, I would expect that if either she or I were to, say, request the court’s permission to move with the children to another state, the other parent would vigorously resist this in court.

My point here is not to give in on everything for the sake of peace.  There are hills to die on, and for me, the prospect of losing my day-to-day contact with the boys would be one of those hills.

On the other end of the scale would be the boys’ haircuts.  Eight years ago, when they were in preschool, I came to the school to find the children’s head shaved slick bald.  Now my beloved co-parent probably had a good reason for doing this, but if she did, she didn’t share it with me.  Do I go to court to restrain her from further haircuts?  Do I write a threatening text or e-mail?  No and no.  Recite the serenity prayer (“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…”) and let it go.

I see so many people endure painful, expensive court battles over a few thousand dollars in property equalization or support.  When Tammy and I do mediation, we tend to talk in round numbers and see the big picture.

My advice is to see the forest, and don’t get hung up on individual trees.

Very truly yours,

Thomas D. Ferreira, Esq.

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