How much should the kids know about your divorce?

by singlemomseeking on July 7, 2008

No matter which way you turn, it’s hard to ignore the messy details of Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook’s divorce.

Is this drama confusing you as much as it’s confusing me? Thank goodness that single mom expert Dr. Leah Klungness is here today to straighten me — and you — out when it comes to the details. I’ve been getting lost.

“The Christie Brinkley/ Peter Cook divorce trial is a scorcher,” says Dr. Leah, co-author of The Complete Single Mother: Reassuring Answers to Your Most Challenging Concerns.

“At stake is the custody of the couple’s two children: Jack Paris, 13, whom she had with third hubby Richard Taubman and was adopted by Peter Cook; and their child Sailor Lee, 10. Christie also has a daughter, Alexa Ray, 22, with pop star Billy Joel.”

The first day of their divorce trial, according to the New York Post, Cook was said “to have a $3,000-a-month online porn habit.” Cook, 49, also had an affair with a then 18-year-old.

[Update: Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook  have reached a settlement. According to recent AP news, She’ll “give Cook $2.1 million but keep 18 properties in the Hamptons that were at dispute. Cook will get parenting time with the children, under an agreement mutually satisfactory to both.”]

But when is enough enough?

“What about the kids?” asks Dr. Leah.

I’ve always advised against badmouthing the other parent since kids quickly figure out that they are biologically half the other parent. Do we really want our kids questioning themselves, thinking they might be half a liar or half a cheat or — or worse, if one of their parents is labeled as such?”

“Our kids’ relationship with the other parent is separate from our relationship with this person who has probably keenly disappointed us. What is gained by destroying the love or trust that our kids hold for a “forever’ person in their lives?”

“Most importantly, what effect, if any, do you think all this information going public will have on Jack and Sailor?”

Let’s hear it from you, single parents out there on the front lines. Speak up.

Photo of Christie and her son, Jack, from

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