We're used to seeing divorces on television that feature talented actors in high-conflict situations. Logistically, however, most people want to avoid the type of drama that television shows depict. Even after your divorce is finalized, your former partner may still be a big part of your life. This is especially true if you have children together. You will need to coordinate with them for the purpose of maintaining visitation schedules and more.
There are three different ways to dissolve a marriage. Television programs tend to depict high-conflict situations. In other words, they show high-conflict litigation to make the issue more interesting than it needs to be in real life. Litigation is only one option for dissolving a marriage, however. It is also the most costly and most time-consuming. Most will want to avoid mediation where possible. Those will pursue mediation or collaborative divorce. In this article, a Sacramento, CA divorce attorney will discuss the role of high-conflict mediation in your California divorce.
The Impact of Divorce on Children
Research indicates that children of divorce face a host of adjustment problems. This can result in psychological disturbances as well. This can, in turn, result in poorer performance at school and behavioral issues. Children of divorce are more likely to engage in risky behavior or act out against their parents. This includes conduct problems in school settings and potential drug abuse. Children of divorce are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
The same consequences are seen in homes with high-conflict partnerships. Children are more likely to suffer from depression and conduct problems when their parents are bickering all of the time. In some cases, divorce can present a net positive gain and more stability within their environment. The key issue here is the amount of conflict the children experience during the marriage or divorce.
Litigation only magnifies the amount of animosity between the two partners. In many cases, it draws out the divorce for a much longer period of time. Mediated divorces are much quicker and much less costly. They also tend to have less conflict. This could only help children whose parents are divorcing.
The Impact of Divorce on Spouses
Divorce can be incredibly stressful. Some studies have shown that those going through divorce face psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. This is especially true in the case of litigated divorces where both spouses are battling it out in court with an uncertain outcome. The tendency is to demonize the other spouse in order to pursue your own goals.
This has a profoundly negative impact on your psychological state and the emotional health of your children.
The Perils of Litigation
Where possible, litigation should be avoided. In litigation, each individual has their own attorney, their own expert witnesses, and their own forensic accountants who provide testimony to the court. Litigation takes longer as well. Since every decision has to pass before a judge, the court has the ultimate control over all decisions made while dissolving the marital estate. When your marital estate passes through the courts, your financial information becomes a matter of public record. That is why many couples pursuing high-asset divorces choose mediation over litigation.
There is also an emotional cost to be paid when litigating a divorce. Each individual has their own attorney and fights for their own interests. One party may want to gouge the other party creating animosity between the two spouses. Divorce is an unpleasant situation even when both parties agree in principle that it is time to end the relationship. However, litigated divorces increase the amount of animosity between the two parties and this can have a negative impact on the children who are caught in the middle of a legal tug-of-war.
The Virtues of Mediation
If you are in a high-conflict divorce with your partner, you may be under the impression that litigation is the only option. However, that may not be the case. The Wagner Family Law specializes in high-conflict mediation with the goal of reducing both the emotional and financial costs to our clients.
High-conflict mediation represents a way for both parties to reduce the amount of conflict that divorces tend to cause. In mediation, one attorney will represent the interests of the divorce. Each party could have their own attorney look over the divorce decree, but that is not necessary. The mediation attorney will help the couple reach a common ground and dissolve their marriage with an outcome that both parties can live with. Issues such as asset distribution, child custody, and more can be addressed in mediation.
Mediated Divorces Tend to be Less Stressful
Mediation is the preferred way to dissolve a marriage. Many courthouses will require that couples try mediation before they begin the litigation process. This is largely due to divorces clogging up the courthouses. However, there are notable benefits to mediation that make the process better in most circumstances.
High-conflict mediation is possible. Spouses who are in conflict with one another can use the mediation process to dissolve their marriage. This will save them money and it could reduce the conflict they are experiencing as they end their marriage.
During the mediation process, both spouses will meet with a mediator who will assemble facts and information to help the parties reach an accord that is acceptable to both of them. The neutral mediator will listen to both sides, explain the legal process, encourage helpful communication, and consult with experts to propose acceptable solutions for both parties. The mediator assists the parties to agree on an acceptable solution.
In litigation, everything is doubled. Each side has its own attorney which will cost them money. Each side has its own experts which will also cost them money. The amount of money paid by the spouses is essentially doubled.
Once the mediation process has concluded, a final agreement will be drafted by the mediator and presented to the court. This agreement must be signed by both parties and they are bound to the contents of the accord. The agreement is then submitted to the court for a judge's review and signature.
Talk to a Sacramento, CA Divorce Lawyer Today
Wagner Family Law represents the interests of those who are in a high-conflict divorce but want to reduce both the emotional and financial toll of their divorce on themselves and their children. Call our office today to set up an appointment, and we can begin discussing your divorce immediately.