Child-Centered Divorce: Avoid Legal Battles
Legal: Avoiding Courtroom Divorce Battle Keeps Emotional Cost Down for Kids
In his long career, award-winning author and family law attorney, Ed Sherman, has experienced it all — the acrimony, bitter custody, battles and prolonged legal dramas played out in courtrooms day after day. According to Sherman, “In our adversarial system, courts are a forum where people are expected to fight, it’s designed that way!”
Little wonder so many couples facing divorce have been led into an ordeal that ultimately benefits only the divorce attorneys. With the parade of celebrity divorces providing a never-ending progression of high-profile examples of our legal system at its worst, it’s time to step back and take the sound advice of attorney Sherman.
“In a sane universe,” notes Sherman, “people who are breaking up would be guided through a non-adversarial process of conciliation.” He explains that “people would be encouraged to think about what’s best — and most fair — for the kids first. Then couples would be encouraged to work with trained mediators and negotiators, rather than litigators.” And this is a worthwhile endeavor because we’ve all seen how great a toll divorce can take on a child’s well-being.
“The result would be a win-win solution for all involved. Well, maybe except for certain litigators who thrive in the depths of an adversarial legal system. Today’s dysfunctional divorce system,” Sherman notes, “encourages battle. The more trouble you have, the more money your attorney makes,” he reminds us. “The rules of professional conduct promote your attorney to be aggressive and we’ve been conditioned to believe that is a good thing. But it isn’t,” says Sherman. “It produces rich attorneys and tragedies like the Baldwin-Basinger divorce, every day by the hundreds.”
In his award-winning book, How to Make Any Divorce Better, Sherman provides expertise to help you reduce conflict and stay out of court. The book is based on 30 years of successful experience and thousands of cases. Thankfully, more and more attorneys are embracing what is being referred to as Complementary Divorce. These attorneys, along with mediators, focus their attention on creating as harmonious a resolution as possible, especially for couples with children.