I read an article about a divorce custody fight in one of the major local papers down here in South Florida. Even for a reformed "killer" divorce lawyer turned divorce mediator such as myself, it made me sick to see what can happen when the divorce process spins out of control. This case truly epitomizes how to get a divorce if you want your kids to be the ones who really lose.
In this divorce case, each of the parties hired the highest-powered, gun-slinging divorce lawyers that money could buy. The problem in this case was, as it often is, that one of these people had a whole lot more money than the other. A divorce agreement made between these parties after they got married in the event they ever got divorced, stacked the deck against one of the parents.
For years they fought it out, up and down the court system, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees.
The end result was that one of these parents had to pay the other parent so much money, as decided by the divorce court, that they actually became a fugitive from justice, totally preventing them from seeing their children! If they showed their face, they would be thrown into jail.
Who is going to suffer here? Sure, one of these parents has been a "winner" (if you can call destroying your co-parent a win) and one has been a loser in this divorce child custody fight. But any kid who can’t even see one of their parents because of a bitter divorce custody battle is the real loser.
I can’t help but wonder how different this family’s lives would look today if they used divorce mediation to create a peaceful divorce instead of the adversarial divorce process, which pits them against each other from the start. I’ll bet it would look a whole lot different. I hope that one day this family decides to learn how to get a divorce the peaceful, healthy way.