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  • Cindy Wysocki

No one ever "wins" a divorce

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Divorce very often is a difficult and emotionally charged process. It's natural for people to want to come out on top in the legal proceedings. However, the reality is that no one ever truly "wins" a divorce.

While it may be possible for one party to receive a favorable outcome in terms of asset division or custody arrangements, the truth is any time a divorce is litigated, both parties lose. The end of a marriage means the end of a partnership and the dissolution of a family unit. It's important to remember that the ultimate goal of the divorce process should be to find a resolution that allows both parties to move forward in the best way possible, rather than trying to "win" at the other party's expense.

One way to achieve this goal is through the use of mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that allows divorcing parties to work out their differences with the help of a neutral third party mediator. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties, but rather helps facilitate communication and encourages the parties to find a workable compromise that enables them to move on from the marriage.

On the other hand, when the court dictates to two adults how to live their lives and what they can and cannot do with their their kids, these orders can be very difficult to enforce against someone who feels that the orders are unfair. Sometimes court orders that favor one party result in ongoing litigation wherein the disfavored party relentlessly seeks to overturn the orders for years on end in pursuit of some personal ideal of "justice."

Mediation has a number of advantages over court. It is often faster and less expensive than going to court, and it allows the parties to have more control over the outcome of their divorce. In addition, mediation can be a less stressful and more respectful way to resolve conflicts, as it allows the parties to work through their differences in a private setting, rather than airing all their dirty laundry in a public courtroom. Parties can be more creative in mediation than in court and can design solutions that uniquely work for their family. The court, on the other hand, is more likely to produce cookie-cutter solutions fit for "average" families, and we know that no family is average. No judge is privy to the innermost workings of a family; the people best situated to find solutions that work for their unique families are the divorcing spouses themselves.

Overall, it's important to remember that divorce is never a win-lose situation. Spouses have fiduciary duties towards each other that do not end just because a divorce has been filed. By working towards a resolution through the use of mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution, divorcing parties can find a way to move forward from the marriage that works for them and their families. Mediated resolutions tend to bring more peace to a family over the long run.

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