I’m sure you have heard it all before, “I thought we agreed on x, y, z? Why is your attorney asking for something different than what we discussed? Why do we have another hearing date? Why are you pushing things further out? Why are you waiting to respond?” the frustrations of going to court are vast and numerous. Falling into the conflict rabbit hole is one of the most dangerous parts of litigation. Why does this happen? Do attorneys really just love the drama of a conflict-filled divorce? While each case has its own unique challenges, it is important to understand how our current system works and why it keeps perpetuating high-conflict divorce cases.
Divorce Attorneys & Billable Hours
First let me say, there are good attorneys out there. There are well-intentioned, amazing, experienced, and outstanding family lawyers that always have their client’s best interest in everything they do. However, there are many who seek to start a disagreement where there is no conflict in order to inflate billable hours. I have seen an agreed-upon amount of spousal support go from being a non-issue to a back-and-forth argument that lasted months. Child visitation schedule that was working perfectly for both clients to suddenly being unfair after a meeting with an attorney. I believe every party should consult with an attorney during mediation as much as they feel comfortable, but it is vital to understand that for some, there is a monetary benefit to continued conflict. Just something to keep in mind if you notice your attorney continues to bring up aspects that are a non-issue for you.
You are Not a Spy. Stop Creeping on Your Ex.
When in litigation, spouses are always trying to dig up dirt on their ex. Screenshots of social media posts, pictures of their soon-to-be-ex drinking at a bar with friends, text messages where emotions have gotten the best of them. While some attorneys may feel this is a necessary part of discovery, and maybe in very narrow circumstances it is, it just feels extremely creepy. Not to mention, it continues to perpetuate some serious toxicity in your life. Divorce should be about leaving the relationship, moving forward, and starting a new chapter in your life. You should not be tasked with carrying that type of baggage with you into the next phase.
Living from Hearing to Hearing
One of the biggest sources of stress for people going through litigation is the constant uncertainty of resolution. Will this be the last hearing? Will their attorney request another continuance? There is so much build-up to the hearing, only to be disappointed in the lack of progress made in the case. This is in direct contrast to divorce mediation, where you know exactly what each session will cover, when you will cover it, and can see the enormous progress being made.
Litigation breeds more conflict. Conflict is very expensive. Instead of diving headfirst into the court system, shouldn’t you give mediation a try? Our San Diego divorce mediators are happy to sit down with you, talk about your case, and see if we are a good fit. Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center.