Divorce Mediation: #8 of 10 Reasons to Avoid Adversarial Divorce Litigation | Little Canada, MN
People need to begin building a bridge across the gulf between them, but often the tactics of adversarial divorce litigation polarize issues, deepen the conflict, increase the pain, and push them further apart. Adversarial litigation teaches people the opposite of the skills they will need to create a healthier and more peaceful future – according to Matthew J. Sullivan, Ph.D. This series is based on ten points adapted from Sullivan’s July 2010 presentation to the Minnesota chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).
#8. Parties learn to deliberately sabotage the other and often use massive distortion to damage the other’s reputation.
He was the (more than) fulltime wage earner over the past dozen years and she was the (more than) fulltime mom. When the relationship went south, he announced that he wanted 50/50 parenting time. She didn’t understand why he would demand what he seemed to avoid for over a decade, but she knew the children needed their father – so she was willing to go to mediation and talk about the possibility.
Meanwhile his lawyer announced that the only way this (mostly absent) father would be able to negotiate 50/50 parenting time would be to demand 100% parenting time and discredit his wife’s mothering in any way possible. That would create leverage to overcome the angry-absent father evidence she had on him.
They could have collaborated for 2-6 hours, talking about their mutual concerns for the welfare of the kids, and coming to an agreement about parenting time. Instead, they spent the next 15 months attacking one another and battling about every detail of their decree. Thus the result was tying up an extra year of their lives and unnecessarily spending tens of thousands of dollars because of the divorce process. Often psychotherapy is needed following the traumatic stress caused by the damaging tactics of adversarial divorce litigation.
Do whatever you can to avoid the system that encourages sabotage and further damages your children’s other parent on the way to the divorce, and start taking steps toward your children’s healthy future. Ask Dorman Mediation about the Collaborative Divorce Process or Divorce Mediation. Call for a free consultation today.
(This is the fourth in series of eleven blogs counting down the top ten)