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The Self-Destructive Divorce Scenario

We all have heard the horror stories. Perhaps we might have actually lived it. The ballistic separation and divorce. To watch it happen to our friends or families, we can't help but believe that the actions of these people defy our sense of logic or common sense. Of course, the dueling couple purport to be doing what is in their overall best interest or the interest of their children. Both sides are claiming victim status. These Chernobyl cases are characterized by distrust and vindictiveness. The couple embarks on a very costly crusade. Each wants their day in court, seeks to be vindicated, and get that elusive "pound of flesh."

Meanwhile our contentious couple is spending a great deal of money (and in many instances, money they can ill afford) on a barrage of complaints, motions, countermotions, and a host of other expensive litigation. And for what? To ultimately wind-up having Judge Wapner tell them who can keep what of their stuff, when they can see their own kids, and other personal and financial issues. To make matters worse, this rather private blood-letting may become a public spectacle for anyone wishing to sit in the gallery at the court house. No privacy there. Anyone who thinks that litigating a divorce is a rewarding experience for either side can just ask the parties as they are leaving the courtroom. Albeit, it probably does feel good when it stops.

Does the state of Virginia and County judges want to dictate to divorcees, all the issues associated with their separation? No. Do they have to go through an expensive legal process in order to get a divorce? No. Can divorcing couples make all these decisions for themselves and be the grand architect of their own separation/divorce agreement? YES! Mediating a divorce can be better for the disputing parties, their kids (if they have any), and their bank account.

What is mediation? Mediation is negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party. It is a voluntary and confidential process that can lead to a binding agreement. Mediation has a high success rate, gives better results, can be faster, less expensive, provide parties with a meaningful voice over their own affairs, reduce the anxiety associated with an unknown outcome, and preserve communication that is essential for single parenting.

Utilizing the services of a professional family mediator can help a couple get on with their lives faster and with significantly less emotional stress. Communication is improved between the parties so future concerns won't be so combative (divorce is a process, not an event). Every issue of separation can be mediated, such as property settlement, parenting agreements, child support, custody, and such. Perhaps the parties can't arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement on all issues. At least they could mediate those issues that they could reach concurrence and litigate those remaining issues. They still would have saved themselves a considerable amount of time, aggravation, and money. Remember, mediate before you litigate.

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