posted in Family Law
on Tuesday, April 10, 2012.
Divorce litigation can be expensive to all parties involved. The process can be emotionally and financially taxing, not to mention the amount of time an in-court divorce can take, especially if the circumstances are less than amicable. According to a recent report, the best way to minimize the occurrence of litigation is to use a combination of support services, parent education and mediation.
Researchers examined more than 140 families during the study. Each of them had filed for divorce with a child younger than the age of 6. While half of the families went through the normal divorce process, the other half utilized some of the aforementioned services.
Mediation was a major part in the divorce proceedings of the second group. Parent education, clinical intervention, case management and input from legal and mental health professionals were all included in the divorces this second group went through.
Researchers measured the mental health of both parents in all of the families and looked at the parenting plans they had created, as well as the degree of conflict and cooperation between the former couple. According to the study, litigation is largely reduced by this plan of action.
This can be attributed to the improvement in the amount of cooperation between the parents, which, according to the researchers, is caused by the intervening program. The program reduced negative changes in relationships between the children and fathers, which gave them more of a reason to stick to parenting plans. Findings also found that mothers were more likely to support a father’s involvement after taking this route instead of the traditional divorce proceedings.
A limitation to this study, admitted by the researchers, was that high-conflict couples were not included. This means that families with a history of domestic violence were not included, nor were those with substance abuse issues. But in those situations, there will be more involved in a divorce than simple litigation. Judges will keep a close eye on what is in a child’s best interests.
Source: Huffington Post, “How To Prevent Litigation In Divorce Disputes,” Robert Hughes, Jr., Mar. 27, 2012