The Book -- Chapter Summaries
Chapter 22: Reading the Agreement

Home

Chapter 1: Considering Divorce
Chapter 2: Whom Do You Tell, and Why?
Chapter 3: Reassuring the Children
Chapter 4: Telling the Children
Chapter 5: Buying Presents, Buying Love
Chapter 6: Children Blaming Themselves for the Divorce
Chapter 7: Short Visits
Chapter 8: Creating a Schedule
Chapter 9: Handovers
Chapter 10: Transitions
Chapter 11: Telephoning Home
Chapter 12: Why Not on Thursdays?
Chapter 13: Staying in Touch
Chapter 14: Sharing Dad's Bed
Chapter 15: Two Birthday Parties
Chapter 16: Moving from the Family Home
Chapter 17: Grandparents
Chapter 18: Playing Messenger
Chapter 19: Keeping Secrets from Parents
Chapter 20: Therapists
Chapter 21: Last-Minute Cancellations
Chapter 22: Reading the Agreement
Chapter 23: Individual Time
Chapter 24: Assuming New Responsibilities
Chapter 25: Sleep-Over at Dad's
Chapter 26: Gender Stereotypes
Chapter 27: Fiscal Responsibilities
Chapter 28: Introducing the Significant Other
Chapter 29: Just Like Your Father
Chapter 30: Refusing to Spend Time with a Parent
Chapter 31: Adolescent Dating Anxiety
Chapter 32: The Disappearing Parent?
Chapter 33: Long-Distance Parenting

In which Andrew, age fourteen, tells why reading the agreement would clarify the future.

Children often believe the signing of a document will somehow remove uncertainty from their lives, and they are puzzled when they find parents don't always agree on what it says in the divorce decree. This boy, like many of his peers, wants to see for himself what it says about finances (who is paying for extracurricular activities or college) and who has the ability to change the visitation schedule. The reasons for having a plain English (as opposed to a legalese) version of the document to show children and the ways this can help them adapt to the reality of the divorce are the major topics of the commentary.

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