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in separation lesson


How divide the goods and what to say to the children

Who lies to the children, who spies the telephones, who is left with nothing. First course with lawyers, educators and accountants giving instructions to survive.

The room is small and welcoming, with a vaulted ceiling and exposed brick. To access it, you have to go through a narrow corridor of a beautiful building in Milan, in the Sant'Ambrogio area, and go down the steps of a staircase in the silence of eight in the evening of a rainy day.

It's dark around and going down is a bit like sinking into the abyss of the soul: leaving the world outside and digging into the cesspool that everyone has inside to try to suffer less.

The course speaks of separations and divorces. How to best face them, how to get out of them without being devastated, attempts to cross the storm, challenge the open sea, and get to the mainland. Salvi.

You go down that ladder to try to find help at a difficult time in life. "My ex is an asshole, he doesn't show me my son," begins a forty-year-old who must have done many battles. He wears a black T-shirt with a red sequin heart, even his hair is longed for, but it's easy to see that he's not happy for a while. "My son chose to stay with his father because he makes money, I don't," he continues. "I don't have an income and my current partner doesn't work either."

A young woman intervenes from the first rows. She cries. «Fabio has 6 years. My husband told him that he moved to work. It's hard to tell him the truth. " True stories of badly ended loves. First they turned to their children, saying: "Go to the father" or "talk to the mother", between coaxing and smiles. Now the distance between the spouses is also noted by the language: "the mother" and "the father" are replaced by "your father", "your mother".




When you get married, you make great preparations, you are more uncertain about the appetizer to offer to the guests, the right music for the banquet or the decorations to put in the pews of the church: it can be a stress, but you live it with joy. and a certain amount of unconscious euphoria. But when do we part? There are no preparations or lessons. We often find ourselves facing the storm. The lawyer Armando Cecatiello, an expert in family law for over 25 years, educator, author of books on the subject like the one, written with Carlo Alfredo Clerici, entitled “My parents divide. And I?" and the most recent: “Separating well with collaborative practice” (Red editions).

Cecatiello has devised a cycle of three meetings, all free, for those who want to separate, "for those who are thinking about it, for those who want to know what to expect from a separation". Because if there is no doubt that the family is fundamental and the world congresses emphasize the need to insist on the blessed union between a man and a woman, it is also true that sometimes a healthy breakup does less damage than a forced and loveless coexistence. Only you have to know how to break up peacefully.

We need "instructions for use", and it cannot be just the lawyer who can give the solution. "An interdisciplinary action is needed", explains the lawyer, "a synergy between several subjects to reach a resolution that is as peaceful as possible". Cecatiello exposes the “collaborative practice”, the alternative and out-of-court method developed in 1989 by the American lawyer Stuart Webb, with which conflicts are resolved and a contentious procedure in court is avoided. It is based on the dialogue between the spouses, assisted by specialists including a communication expert (psychologist), or the accountant for patrimonial aspects, on which there is almost never agreement. You work as a team. It almost always ends well. Without War of the Roses. We loved each other so much, now bye, good luck.

This is why the other evening, at the first meeting organized by Cecatiello, the speaker was Dr. Katia Biundo, pedagogist, mother of 4 children, used to treating difficult cases with humanity, using the language of the "child", to put herself on the side of the minor.

«Many couples in crisis come to me, I try to help them because my aim is to protect the children. I explain that children understand everything. Never tell them lies. And when two decide to separate, they must together, not in turn, go to their son to tell the truth. Together they must take responsibility, even if relationships are different and there is always one parent more protective than the other. The child must know he can trust, otherwise he will suffer ».




Raise your hand a lady. "Sometimes I spy on my daughter's cell phone," he whispers almost ashamed. "I know it's not done, but it's the only way to know what you think of the father." The children's cell phones are not spied, warns the educator. What were you hoping to find out? “There were messages with her father, he wanted to take her to the gym, but she never shows up, my daughter is angry and I am too. I wanted to understand what he had answered ». Spying is a form of insecurity, Biundo insists, "sometimes it is easier to ask, to confront". "I can't talk to my ex," interrupts a gentleman from the back. «As soon as I hear her I fight», he cuts short, «he doesn't forgive me for leaving and he insults me repeatedly». Here, another mistake to avoid: denigrate the ex in front of the children. "But he treated me badly!" Should I shut up? », The redhead from before blurts out. And in the room with the vaulted ceiling and exposed bricks the debate ignites, the hours pass quickly, and one realizes that a cycle of meetings is not enough for such a delicate subject.


BRUNELLA BOLLOLI - Original article published in Libero on Monday 8 April 2019



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