Divorce Mediation: #1 of 10 Reasons to Avoid Adversarial Divorce Litigation | Saint Paul, MN
#1. A dependency on litigation to solve ongoing conflict is created when people do not learn alternative skills. This dysfunctional model is a self-perpetuating trap.
When people are unable to come to agreement on divorce issues and force the judge to decide, then after the divorce they are more likely to repeat the process. Since they have not gained skills to collaborate on making decisions, every time a major disagreement comes up, they rush back to the court and to have the judge decide. Here are five reasons why that is not the best course of action.
1. When people take an attitude on post-divorce issues that “we’ll never solve this without going back to court and having the judge decide” they refuse to take responsibility for their own wellbeing. They avoid growth and maturity by remaining in the child’s role and seeing the judge as the “good parent” who will take care of them.
2. Judges don’t have the time to do all the homework it would take to fully understand your family needs. You are the expert on your own life. You are the expert on your children. Why ask someone else to make the decisions when they will never have all the understanding that you do about your reality.
3. The judge may be a good person… but they don’t love your kids. DO YOU? Will you love them enough to get help in order to resolve the underlying issues and stop the conflict?
4. Ongoing conflict is the most damaging element of divorce. If mom and dad can learn how to get along after the split… the kids do much better. A good counselor or therapist can be a valuable resource for anyone who has gone through a painful breakup.
5. Returning again and again to court is costly, time consuming, and emotionally draining.
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. These ten entries are adapted from Sullivan’s July 2010 presentation to the Minnesota chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC).