When seeking dispute resolution assistance, it’s important to have help asking the right questions. We’re pleased to share insights with our website visitors that we’ve gained in our vast experience with all types of mediation. Have a look around at these Resources and, of course, please contact us with further questions or for a no-charge consultation.
narcissistic wound caused to a spouse by the other spouse wanting out of the marriage, often will not be allowed to scab and then scar over.
Healing begins first with the scabbing over and if the wound is deep enough, then with the scarring over. If this healing does not occur, the wound continues to gape and the body declines. There must be a resolution of sorts or a downward spiral of illness follows, not just for the parents, but for the children as well.
The mediation process can help the wound to scar over. With each session, I have seen spouses heal and begin to make way for a new start. This is not true of the litigation process. Because litigation is by definition an adversarial system, it is not meant to leave you being friends, or even being civil and having the ability to co-parent effectively. You simply must survive it. Examine the priorities. You are both parents of the same children and will be forever. The children need you to be able to co-parent.
It is the parents’ attitude, not the divorce, that “screws up” the children. Talk to the therapist. Get a handle on how to think about the divorce and get the tools that you need to help yourself help your kids. There is life after divorce and there is “pay-back” for bad behavior .
Let the kids understand that Mom and Dad will not be married to each other, but that Mom and Dad and kids will be extended family going forward because they are loved by their parents. Demonstrate that the parents are respective of each other because they are both parents of their wonderful children. What a constructive, healthy and respectful solution that is!
I have seen judges in disgust over parties in a divorce case fighting each other for physical custody of their children. Judges understand that unless either parent is mentally ill, a drug addict, alcoholic or otherwise incompetent, nobody knows what is in the best interest of their children better than the parents. Judges always look for the party who can put the child’s needs and interests ahead of the party’s own interest. Be the grown-ups…figure it out…make it work. King Solomon, in order to provide justice to two women claiming to be the mother and fighting for a child, was able to smoke out the real mother when he threatened to have the child cut in half. Of course, the real mother stepped forward and gave up the fight to the other woman rather than have her child cut. Of course, this is an example of King Solomon’s wisdom and not every Judge may be as insightful or knowing given the variety of fact-patterns presented to him or her. So, sometimes custody battle wins or losses can be a crap-shoot.
When you sit in the back of the courtroom, as I often have done, and watch a Judge scour the faces of the parties looking for any sign that at least one of the parties is able to be the grown-up and put the kids’ interests first, it is tragic. It becomes the Judge’s duty sometimes to pick the lesser of two evils. It is sad to be granted custody as the lesser of two evils. The Judge’s task is a bit easier when you have one clearly unfit parent then when you have two parents who love their children, but just cannot get along with each other. Mediation can help parties work through the many types of custodial arrangements and parenting schedules in a constructive and respective manner, making sure that each parent gets quality time with their children.
Janice Starr regularly writes about important issues relating to Divorce Mediation.
Click to read Janice’s Mediation versus Litigation summary
Click to read Mediation Associates’ Compassionate Divorce
Click the image below to read and download The New NYS Spousal Maintenance Statute in industry-standard PDF format.