How To Minimize Conflict In A Divorce
One Of The Most Important Things For Divorcing Couples To Do Is To Know How To Minimize Conflict In Their Divorce Case
How to minimize conflict in a divorce or other family law case. This is a question that most divorce and family law attorneys find themselves answering on a very regular basis. The solution to minimizing conflict in a divorce case basically boils down to a few fundamental points for parents to keep in mind.
The first of these is to find the right type of divorce attorney to represent you. Next the parents need to have a mature mental approach to the case and understand that regardless of their emotional hurts that they bring to the table the children are the most important aspect and need to be protected at all costs. The third thing to keep in mind is to approach the mediation process with an open mind understanding that a fair settlement usually consists of both parties giving in a little bit to meet in the middle.
The first of the above stated fundamental points is picking the right attorney to represent you in your divorce. Picking the right attorney is very important and you cannot just point at a random name in the phone book and get your ideal representation. This is because attorneys come in all different types whether it’s different levels of experience, different price levels, and different approaches to litigation. When it comes to minimizing conflict in the family law case the third of these is the most important which is the attorney’s individual approach to litigation.
Some attorney’s approach to litigation will be a very professional, respectful, and diplomatic approach this approach is the one that is most likely to minimize conflict and maximize the chances of settlement when the case gets to the mediation process.
There are a lot of attorneys out there who would consider themselves to be “pitbull attorneys” these types of attorneys generally thrive on high conflicts cases and have a knack for taking a case that does not have to be high conflict and turning it into a long expensive legal battle.
These “negative attorneys” as they are called tend to take an all or nothing approach to litigation and find themselves in front of the judge often for small issues throughout the litigation that could have or should have been easily remedied without need to go to court.
The best way to find the right attorney to minimize conflict is to simply ask them at the consultation how they would describe their personal approach to litigation. You can usually learn a lot about that lawyer’s approach by listening to their answer. Another question to ask at the consultation is how many times should we expect to be in front of the judge throughout the course of this case? If the lawyer says that you will be in front of the judge many times then you may have a lawyer who is prone to high conflict cases. If the lawyer, however, answers that they would be the attempting to minimize court involvement as much as possible and work amicably for a settlement that is the answer that you’re looking for.
The next key for divorcing couples to remember in order to minimize conflict is for the parents to have a responsible attitude towards the divorce understanding that regardless of emotional wounds the most important thing is the children and they should be shielded from the stress of the case at all costs.
All too often divorce and family court judges see instances of divorcing parents blatantly using the children as tools to punish the other side or as strategic pawns in the litigation. Most family law and divorce judges regularly attend conferences and study current research on how high conflict cases affects children and how to minimize the effects on children. For this reason the judges are usually very good at recognizing conduct of parents during litigation that is harmful to children and when they see it they are not afraid to crack down on the parents in ways that can affect the outcome of your case.
This is where hiring the right type of attorney can be even more beneficial. This is because the right attorney Will be attempting to coach their client every step of the way on how to make good decisions to minimize the effects on children and to minimize the chances that they will be frowned upon by the judge. Conversely, high conflict attorneys may avoid giving this type of advice as it would minimize the opportunity to perpetuate the fight.
The last important point that divorcing parents need to keep in mind is that they should keep an open mind as the case moves toward mediation or other type of court provided settlement conference.
In most jurisdictions in United States a contested divorce or other type of family court case will normally be required to go to mediation before it is permitted to be set for trial. This is because the majority of cases that go to mediation will ultimately settle without having to go to a trial this helps judges maintain control over backlogged court dockets while minimizing stress caused to children which is common in drawn out legal battles.
At a typical mediation the parties will meet at the courthouse with their lawyers in a conference room setting with the lawyers and a nonbiased state approved mediator who’s specialty is to assist litigants in reaching fair settlements in their cases.
It is important for litigants who are gearing up for mediation to have a mindset that is open-minded and reasonable so that they can have the best opportunity to reach a settlement It is widely known that a good mediation settlement will have both litigants feeling like they gave up something. Many judges and mediators will often tell you that if you walk out of a mediation feeling like you got everything you wanted without giving in in anything then chances are it was not a fair settlement.
This is another area where choosing the right divorce lawyer can be beneficial. This is because the right lawyer will sit down with you in the beginning of the representation and formulate a detailed strategic approach to the case that will take affirmative steps to maximize the incentive for the other side to want to come to mediation and reach a settlement that is fair. The good lawyer will also be working to instill an attitude in the client that is open-minded and hopeful to reach a fair settlement mediation. The highly contested divorce lawyer, however, will usually instill an attitude about mediation in the client that is bleak or hopeless about the chances of settlement.
In this article I have spoken about three key points for divorcing litigants to keep in mind in order to minimize the conflict in their divorce, child custody, or other family law case. While I believe these to be the three most commonly useful points, there are many other ways to minimize the conflict in your case.
The right attorney will be able to coach you and work with you so that the strategy and decisions in the litigation are all fine-tuned to minimize the conflict in the case. By keeping the fighting to a minimum you can be assured that you will save money, stress to yourself, stress to the children, and put the case behind you quicker than you would in a highly contested case.
If you are going through a divorce or other family law case and you need to speak to an attorney then call Sean Smallwood, P.A. today at 407-574-6155
Sean Smallwood is an Orlando divorce attorney for the law firm Sean Smallwood, Orlando Divorce & Family Law P.A. where he represents clients in all areas of family law and divorce. 100% of the practice is devoted to family law. As an attorney in Orlando, he has helped many families with a wide variety of family law cases including Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, and many other issues.