Divorce action often implies that there has been serious conflict in a Pennsylvania marriage. However, a couple that is contemplating divorce may already be aware of some of the risks associated with a high conflict action. Although there may be significant differences, efforts to work through the process in a civil manner could alleviate some of the most negative potential outcomes.
When a divorce is handled strictly through litigation, the legal costs can be huge. Mediation offers one of the least expensive means of handling the matter. Although mediation and collaboration are not the best options for all couples, those who can get along well enough to negotiate without litigation could save significantly. Mediation is actually one of the best recommendations for high conflict scenarios because the drama can be minimized. A mediator is trained to address emotional issues to minimize conflict, keeping the matter private and as peaceful as possible.
A high conflict divorce is more likely to involve violence. The stress associated with antagonistic divorces can lead to extreme actions ranging from poor conduct in court to deadly domestic violence. In a mediated divorce, a mediator is trained to work much like a hostage negotiator, listening actively and exhibiting patience in attempting to bring parties together on matters such as child custody and the division of property and debt. One of the most important things to remember in facing divorce is that each party has a choice to avoid stressful conflict or promote it.
An individual considering either collaborative or mediated divorce may still need the assistance of a family lawyer. Decisions made through mediation should be recorded in a manner that is legally binding, especially if matters such as child support, visitation schedules and spousal maintenance are at issue. Failure to make the terms legally binding could create difficulty in enforcing terms in the future.