Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Are There Good Divorces?

When have you ever heard someone say his/her divorce wasn’t that bad? Or that they got a pretty fair deal? We all hear about the crazy divorces, that take up years of people’s lives and tons and tons of dollars but we rarely hear about the divorces that mediators see all the time. The ones in which couples get beyond their anger, hurt, and grief. The ones in which couples put their children first. I’m not sure why we don’t hear much about those. Maybe it’s one of those things in which good news isn’t news but bad news is. Or maybe it’s that it’s macho to fight to the last dime for one dime’s advantage over your "opponent" who incidentally happens to be the mother or father of your children. Maybe it’s considered weakness in our society if we compromise and we certainly don’t want to be perceived as weak. Just think of the language we use to describe the process of resolving disputes. There’s litigation, which is when lawyers duke it out, and then there’s alternative dispute resolution, which is when couples use mediation or collaborative law to resolve a divorce. So if mediation is an alternative, that sounds like the standard method is litigation. Don’t most of us want to use the standard way of doing anything? The alternative is good for the early adopters, the granola crowd, but not for us. For the sake of families, maybe it’s time for us to change the language of divorce.-mgm 12/10/07.

1 comment:

Joseph Woodard said...

Thank you for your post. As an attorney for over 10 years, I couldn't agree more that the divorce process causes undue hardship, both emotionally and financially. To say that either party can "win" a divorce is simply an impossibility - the only ones that "win" are the divorce lawyers. I'm glad we are promoting divorce mediation, as well as uncontested divorces. Thanks.