Conflict in relationships is unavoidable. Like fire, it can be used in a constructive or harmful manner. Such conflicts further gives rise to the separation of both partners. Fighting is not predictive of divorce. Avoidance, disengagement, contempt, criticism, and the silent treatment are. Divorce, more often than not, brings out raw emotion in both partners as they fight for what they believe to be rightfully theirs.
Words are said and lawyers empowered on an emotionally fuelled level, protracting the divorce so it becomes long and painful for all involved. Even more frustrating, the court takes power away from individuals to resolve their issues, making legal judgments that could otherwise have been peacefully arrived at if the partners had instead opted for divorce counseling.
Seventy percent of the issues, couples deal with, do not really need to be solved, just discussed well. The skills needed to handle the inevitable disagreements such as money, time, housework, sex, priorities, the kids, etc are crucial. Couples should avoid predictably bad times for discussion: dinner, bedtime, just getting home from work or while preoccupied with a project or task. Place a priority on your relationship by carving out time for its upkeep. Set aside a weekly meeting time to discuss your relationship.
Apart from these attempts, even divorce counseling, when conducted by a licensed mental health practitioner who specializes in working with divorcing couples, can help the couple sort out the emotional from the practical issues of the divorce. Once the couple can resolve or at least clarify the cause of the anger, reasonable negotiations can occur. Divorce counseling is concerned with helping the couples gain some sense of closure regarding their relationship. It can help the parties grieve their loss preparing them to move into the future, perhaps not as friends, but at least not as enemies.
When partners simply cannot find a way for their relationship to work, divorce and divorce counseling are words that enter the vocabulary. Amicable divorce settlements are best reached through the use of divorce counseling. When administered by a qualified mental health practitioner with experience in divorce proceedings, divorce counseling becomes an effective tool in which emotion can be diffused and separated from the legalities of the divorce process. This enables both partners to discuss issues in a rational and controlled manner, as well as providing a levelheaded platform from which both parties can negotiate.
Divorce mediation is the healthy alternative to a litigated divorce. The focus of a mediated divorce is on reaching an equitable solution to such issues as spousal support, property division, child custody, visitation, etc. The couple meets with a mediator to resolve each and every item. Without assessing blame or fault, the mediator helps the divorcing parties develop alternative solutions for addressing their specific areas of conflict.
By choosing mediation, the parties talk to each other, rather than through their attorneys. This direct communication resolves conflicts in less time and is less costly than traditional litigation. When children are involved in a dispute, the mediation process encourages parents to focus on their children`s best interests and to maintain a relationship with their children while the parties` design a parenting plan.
Each party has control in a mutual, decision-making process. Mutual expression of perceptions, values and emotions are allowed, thereby reducing damage to important family relationships. This enables the parties to tailor a personalized agreement, which resolves their individual and unique concerns and reflects the best interests of their children. An important goal for successful mediation is reaching a fair agreement. The parties decide what is fair, not the attorneys and not a judge.
Importantly, divorce counseling helps both partners gain a sense of closure - something that rarely happens when the legal process is taken on without counseling. Partners are provided with the opportunity to end their relationship on an even keel, so avoiding the need for either to harbor anger and resentment in the months and years following. Overall, it creates the impetus for both partners to open a new chapter in their lives.