It is my conflict resolution philosophy and observation over the past 30+ years, that the vast majority of spouses or parents in conflict have the ability to resolve their conflicts without going to court, given the proper assistance. If you spend two years fighting in court to prove each other wrong, it will have a negative impact on your kids. All the court data says the same thing: most cases settle without a trial. However, settling your case doesn’t mean that the conflict is resolved.
It is also part of my philosophy of conflict resolution that if one of people in the conflict simply steps out of the conflict and expresses what the true underlying issue is that is fueling the conflict, immediate healing of conflict can occur.
Essentials for Conflict Resolution
I have found that in order to be able to truly resolve the conflict both parties must be willing to
1. Take responsibility for how his or her own choices along life’s road have contributed to the current conflict and
2. Move beyond their own anger or hurt and act with the children’s best interest foremost in their minds.
Neither of these conditions is particularly easy to put into action. It can be excruciatingly painful to hold the mirror up to your own responsibility. This requires a certain level of emotional maturity to start with.
It has been my experience that if you are willing to at least consider these issues and to do some internal investigation about your role in the conflict, you can successfully resolve the conflict.
Taking Sides in Conflict
While you can ask friends and family for advice about your conflict and how to resolve it, resolution calls for some introspection. Instead, many people create an exercise in gathering opinions – especially opinions that support their perceived way of conflict resolution. Let’s face it, friends and family can’t always be objective when it comes to you. They see things from your perspective. That’s why they are your friends. That’s why I recommend that divorcing spouses seek support from from professionals – like a divorce coach or therapist. These professionals are trained to provide you with tools for healing from the emotional effects of the divorce conflict. Such professionals can assist in resolving the conflict and supporting your emotional well-being. If you want to put your children first and have a child-centered divorce, it is essential to have support.
No matter the cause of the conflict, you are exploring the options available to end your marriage in a way that doesn’t take out other family members in the process. The emotions of divorce and custody disputes must be dealt with in order to fully resolve the conflict and heal so that you do not repeat the same mistakes again.
With over 30 years of working with divorcing families, I have have developed certain guiding principles. I have personal experience with divorce and have trained and worked as a family law litigator, mediator and collaborative divorce lawyer. I have also worked extensively with children involved in the court system.
As a result of all this training and experience, along with the research along the way, I have these guiding principles about the family court process:
I believe that divorcing couples should be honest and respectful with each other.
I believe that divorcing parents must take actions that are in their children’s best interest and set aside their own internal struggles in favor of action that supports the children’s well-being.
I believe that it is possible to divorce with honor, integrity and transparency.
I believe that it is possible to leave the divorce as a better person than when you came into the process if you are willing to take action.
My definition of “better” includes
Awareness of and willingness to examine your role in the marital breakdown
Commitment to model best behavior for your children
Ending the blame, shame, judgment game
Practicing new habits of communication that express your true needs
Taking action that expresses your highest priorities
If you are interested in booking a family mediation session, please click here for Palm Beach County, Florida
Effective October 2015 you can schedule mediation sessions in Stark County, Ohio and Summit County, Ohio