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#32 – Maintaining your family’s mental health during divorce!

family of paper dolls cut in half

#32 – Maintaining your family’s mental health during divorce!

A frank conversation about doing the best things for your children and soon to be ex.


Child welfare attorney Susan Chesnutt’s and Certified Divorce Lending Professional and John Whitbeck discuss mental health and the divorce experience. Buckle up for a lot of helpful information about navigating issues from COVID shots to clients in crisis.


[01:23] Introduction to John Whitbeck, former professor at the George Mason Law School, practicing attorney in the state of Virginia and has his own podcast called The Mind Itself.

[2:45] John discusses his serendipitous way into mental health and how it became his passion.

[5:00] Susan and John walk through when clients are either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis or walking into a crisis.

[7:15] John explains that mental health as pertains to the law is an imperfect system. So how does it apply to the law in domestic relations?

[12:30] Susan and John speak about how they as attorneys build lifelong relationships and use those experiences to help others.

[17:15] When parents disparage each other, even if they think their kids don’t hear it, they do. The negative effects of discussing your former spouse.

[19:00] Susan and John talk about the death of a relationship and how that grief changes how you co-parent.

[22:25) John dives in to addressing special needs or mental illness and what that can look like with making decisions in the best interest of the child.

[55:00) John and Susan dig into when co-parents disagree on getting their child vaccinated for COVID. The long-term implications of a parent going rogue and not including the other parent.



20:13 “You remind me that a long time ago, when I first started practicing family law, I had someone literally say to a parent, you do realize that every time that you say something negative, let’s just say it was about the father, the mother saying something negative about the father that you are criticizing your child because your child is half of the father.”

1:10:12 “Every judge hates domestic cases. So you, you gotta, you gotta make it worth their, while you gotta pare down your exhibits, they don’t need to resolve as many things as you can before you get in there. And if you’re gonna, if you have a child or an adult with a mental health issue, really get into what that means and educate that judge.”

1:16:26 “I tell my clients, I am forever a part of your journey. At this moment for the rest of your life, this experience that you have, I am a part of your journey with you and you are part of the journey of my life going forward, right?”



The Chesnutt Law Firm Divorce:
John Whitbeck, Whitbeck Bennett Family Law Practice:
Podcast: The Mind Itself

The Mind Itself Podcast

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