Need for collaboration may not end with divorce
Illinois residents may find a recently published article regarding the long-term effects of divorce to be of some interest. Its author cites work conducted by two men employed at the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law, both of whom are recognized as being experts in collaborative law and divorce mediation. Although many people believe that divorces mark the end of the family unit, the men propose a different hypothesis that could prove illuminating.
According to their work, there is an important distinction between legal divorce brought on by litigation and actual emotional divorce. While the former can be accomplished in a set period of time, the latter is a process that often begins long before the divorce is initiated and can continue long after it's been finalized, potentially for the remainder of the participants' lives. This is because former couples often find difficulty completely severing themselves from one another either because one or both continue to feel some lingering attachment or because of mutual social responsibilities - such as children - obligate their interaction.
The field of family law mediation often strives to achieve some form of collaborative divorce that allows participants to talk through issues and craft mutually satisfactory settlement agreements. However, the success of such efforts sometimes depends on the willingness and ability of both parties to conduct themselves amicably and cooperate. The circumstances this article describes, which are often typical to many divorces, can make that a very difficult prospect.
As the article seeks to illustrate, the need for collaboration does not end with the divorce itself; if the couple has children, they may be jointly responsible for his or her development for years to come. Many people undergoing a divorce under these circumstances benefit from family law mediation to assist them in resolving their conflicts.
Source: The Hays Daily News, "Process of divorce can leave families in limbo at times", January 13, 2014