by Linda Piff, Esq.
Sitting in a courtroom is never an easy task – especially when you’re trying to move on with your life. This is especially true when it comes to individuals involved in a heated divorce, in which both partners are trying to think only of themselves – instead of trying to resolve issues and move on to a better position in life. While both partners were once madly in love, hurt and negativity take over.
Traditional divorce is much like a game of football; each team is trying to push each other back—trying to score points and “win” the match. The teams are not thinking of the other, trying to keep track of who’s playing what, how to counter the play and how to dominate throughout the process. The problem with this mentality is two-fold.
Giving Up Your Right to Play Fair – Letting a Referee Make All the Calls
When you decide you’d rather fight out your divorce in a traditional court setting, you’re handing over the decision making ability to a judge, who will have complete and final say in everything that happens in your life. A judge is only there to make the calls in the game, not teach you how to play or which avenues suit both teams best. While you might not agree with it, a judge’s decision (much like the referee) is final.
Keeping Score Doesn’t Solve Issues
Think back to the last football game you watched; both teams have equal opponents and strength, skill and stamina. The difference is how the teams decide to play the game. When one team pushes into the other – defense takes over, trying to get the ball back on their side. This continues until the time runs out. A court room is like the football field.
Each team has the opportunity to make a position, with both teams trying to get a goal with what they want. More time is spent pushing and defending – instead of trying to come up with a common resolution that works for everyone.
There’s No Sharing On the Field – Only Grabbing and Throwing
Much like the football, children are often brought into the middle of the divorce; with the attention being where the ball is — instead of how the ball is treated throughout the process. By playing a game of back and forth, children are more likely to feel like a bartering object, which can cause stress and anxiety as a result. The general welfare for your kids should always be the top priority – smoothly transitioning the child to the new routine instead of snatching them back and forth in anger or hurt.
No One Wins By Playing Dirty
Dragging out the divorce process can take months (if not years) of time and financial resources that can virtually defeat the strongest competitor. Rehashing old issues, trying to belittle and destroy your partner – creates a negative environment that isn’t good for anyone involved. This is especially true with the children who have to continue interacting throughout the ‘war’.