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Lynne was 4 years old and her brother David 8 years old when their parents, Marcia and George, divorced following an unhappy, contentious marriage and an acrimonious break-up. The conflict continued in the first year following divorce, as Marcia and George argued, often in front of the children, about money, visitation, and parental rights and responsibilities. Marcia, who had custody of the children, initially felt overwhelmed by the challenges of a dramatic decline in income; erratic support payments; and raising two anxious, confused, angry children alone.

George remarried 1 year after the divorce, had a new child, and moved out of state. Although George had been close to David, he gradually drifted out of the children’s lives. At first he phoned, sent gifts, and saw the children for brief unsatisfying visits in the summer, but as distance and a new family...

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