Divorce Mediation Blog

It's not a world war, after all

Thursday, September 17, 2015

One of us has been listening to a multipart podcast about the First World War. The podcast may be as long as the war itself, but it makes a workout seem quick, by comparison!

In describing the siege that took hold in the fall and winter of 1914-1915, the narrator describes the phenomenon of European powers having invested so much in blood and treasure that no one was willing to consider any form of withdrawal from the winter stalemate, let alone a nuanced solution to the conflict.

This description resonated with many seemingly endless experiences of clients who enter into divorce litigation with black-and-white views, and goals to match. Sometimes, like quicksand, the deeper the descent, the stronger the pull. The more invested, the less the inclination to compromise. As time and costs increase, perspective, empathy and the ability to listen to, let alone hear or consider the “opponent’s” point of view, diminishes proportionately.

Until, that is, someone is broke or broken, or the clock runs out.

The comparison between divorce litigation and the conflict that introduced a level of lethality previously unknown to human warfare is fraught, to be sure. Divorce litigation almost never kills anyone. Too often, it does, however, diminish people, their coffers, their ability to co-parent and their dignity. Strategy and tactics replace perspective and understanding.

In our practice, we mostly see people avoid the carnage, and we work with many who are in the midst of it and are looking for a way out, sometimes desperately. We preach, at all times, the need for clients to be wary of conflict, and to review every stage of their divorce matter from the perspective of cost-effectiveness, both financial and relational.

Most listen; some cannot. For the unfortunate few with whom we work who cannot, many are condemned to ignore Santayana and reenact their own personal version of the European siege one hundred years ago. The hope that these numbers will become fewer and fewer motivates us to do keep at it, every day.

Get e-mail notifications of new blog posts! Enter email address below.:

Delivered by FeedBurner

other articles

recent posts


divorce arbitrator arbitrators IRC §2704 Baseball Players Defense of Marriage Act Obamacare divorce and family law mediators mediators Uniform Arbitration Act annulment conciliation divorce process medical benefits LDRC Matrimonial Arbitration Levine Dispute Resolution fraud divorce lawyers alimony law family mediation Family Law Arbitration Massachusetts Alimony Reform Act private dispute resolution Alimony Reform Act pre-ARA alimony Same Sex Marriage family support Massachusetts alimony Massachusetts lawyers divorced family and probate law disputes Divorce Agreements traditional negotiations alimony orders special master high-risk methodology Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly self-adjusting alimony divorce arbitration Baseball Arbitration Boston Self-adjusting alimony orders Major League Baseball Arbitration Levine Dispute Resolution Center Massachusetts divorce lawyers lawyers divorce arbitrators lawyer-attended mediation SJC dispute resolution mediator alimony statute health insurance Chouteau Levine arbitration support orders family law arbitrators Cohabitation divorce mediation litigation Massachusetts Levine Dispute Resolutions mediation facilitated negotiations divorce mediations COLA Child Support Guidelines alimony reform legislation med-arb divorce mediator Levine Dispute Resolution Center LLC med/arb Divorce Act Reforming Alimony in the Commonwealth child support resolve disputes MLB labor agreement Baseball DOMA divorce agreement divorce litigation separation rehabilitative alimony family law arbitrator lawyer The Seven Sins of Alimony General term alimony family law mediation mediations divorce judgment Massachusetts alimony and child support health coverage family law divorce mediators divorce and family law arbitrator disputes Massachusetts divorce mediators how baseball arbitration works alimony