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Classic Words of Advice to Divorcing Parents from Minnesota Judge

Back in the mid-1990′s a Minnesota Judge, Michael Haas, penned 200 words of wisdom and advice to divorcing parents. His advice has become legendary and has been circulating among judges and others in the legal system for nearly 20 years. Apparently, the Judge's words were first shared with the masses in a letter someone wrote to Dear Abby in 1994. His words were so concise and impactful that several other Judges have quoted him in their own court decisions. It's been nearly 20 years since the judge gave his sage advice, and I would bet that 50 years from now his words will still ring as true as they have for the last 20 years. And now, sage advice from Judge Michael Haas:

"Your children have come into this world because of the two of you. Perhaps you two made lousy choices as to whom you decided to be the other parent. If so, that is your problem andyour fault.

No matter what you think of the other party-or what your family thinks of the other party-these children are one half of each of you. Remember that, because every time you tell your child what an 'idiot' his father is, or what a 'fool' his mother is, or how bad the absent parent is, or what terrible things that person has done, you are telling the child half of him is bad.

That is an unforgivable thing to do to a child. That is not love. That is possession. If you do that to your children, you will destroy them as surely as if you had cut them into pieces, because that is what you are doing to their emotions.

I sincerely hope that you do not do that to your children. Think more about your children and less about yourselves and make yours a selfless kind of love, not foolish or selfish, or your children will suffer."

Judge Michael Haas, District Court Minnesota

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