Three’s a crowd in Divorce

Divorce involves your immediate family; it’s very common for your friends and other family members to feel like they need to choose sides, fight in your corner, and possibly even try and throw a few punches on your behalf.  While this may feel “supportive,” it’s actually very problematic for divorce proceedings.

Mark Baer with the Huffington Post wrote this article about Divorce Meddlers.  He explained that people frequently confuse “conflict resolution or management” with “dispute resolution.” Conflicts are emotional and disputes are fact-based. Legal disputes, divorces included, are typically resolved through litigation or litigated negotiation, which are adversarial processes and thereby exacerbate the conflict in order to resolve the dispute.”

Involving others in your “conflict resolution” when they are not part of the actual conflict can heighten the emotional state of each party, and prolong the dispute.  Baer goes on to say that “When others choose sides, it can keep the divorcing couple from working cooperatively.”

Your family and friends are dealing with their own emotions, and might not know how to grieve or show their support without feeling like they need to pick sides and engage in the dispute.  However, this meddling invariably can encourage suspicion, fear and fighting between the couple and between the meddling party.

A divorce is between two people; three’s a crowd.  It’s important for your friends and family to encourage peace, focus on the positives (like grandchildren), and focus on the long-term goals.  Previous meddling parties can be the voice of reason and reassurance rather than anger and fear.

Mediation is often needed when two people are struggling with a divorce.  The mediator does not represent any party, but remains neutral. The mediator also does not make any judgment or decisions – she simply identifies the points of disagreement and helps the parties craft a unique agreement that will help fix what is broken, so the parties can begin to move ahead with their best foot forward.

I am here if you would like to learn more. Please click on the scheduling link on my website to schedule a consultation or mediation that best suits your schedule.