HE SAID: I want my kids 50% of the time.

SHE SAID: Over my dead body!

Be careful what you wish for!

Our court system is overloaded with parents who would rather entrust their children’s lives to a perfect stranger in a black robe, rather than figure it out themselves with the help of caring and peace promoting professionals. Think about this. There is oftentimes more crime in the family law setting than in the criminal law setting. In family court, good people are acting at their worst, whereas in criminal court, bad people are acting at their best. People long for their day in court seeking justice, only to leave with frustration, despair and empty pockets. Children’s college educations are being spent on custody battles, and at the end of the day, everyone loses – especially the children. Trauma, drama, and financial hardship all impact and destroy the family and their effects trickle down to the children. Choose litigation? – HELL NO!

Murder-suicides in the Family Law arena are alarmingly rising! Children committing suicide is on the uprise. Why? What is the answer? It is simple. Be the parent! Love and protect your children. Find creative ways for your children to have the best of Mom and the best of Dad. Support one another as an integral part of your children’s lives and go back to the basics that you were once lovingly taught – learn to share! Be kind to one another. Set the example for your children.

There is so much help available to you. Seek out professionals that are skilled in helping to put out the fires instead of fueling the flames. Look for the process that is the right fit for your family and a process that is going to enable you to work civilly together. Mediation is certainly one of those processes. In this process, the parties meet with a neutral facilitator, called a Mediator who helps the parties have meaningful discussions to work towards resolving all of the issues that are attendant to a divorce or a dissolution of a relationship or important for your children. Is it the perfect fit for every family – maybe not, but who gets to decide that? Only you can! And hell, no, NO ONE should discourage you for trying it on and seeing if it fits. If it doesn’t fit comfortably, then perhaps the collaborative process would work better for you. In the collaborative process, the parties have their lawyers by their sides with the availability of building a professional team to help them navigate the divorce and parenting process. Everyone works creatively together to move through the emotionality and reality of ending a relationship, but building a family unit. Is it the perfect fit for every family – maybe not, but who gets to decide that? Only you can! And hell, no, NO ONE should discourage you for trying it on and seeing if it fits.

Other inexpensive processes are also available such as good old fashioned kitchen table negotiations with added support from your peaceful oriented attorney to keep the process fresh and creative. Or there can be negotiations between or among chosen professionals on behalf of the separating couple and family, or four way cooperative meetings, or unbundled legal services. And with all of these out of court processes, there is always room to tailor the process to your individual and family needs. Just be sure you choose experienced, dedicated, and peace promoting tailors or seamstresses to help you get just the right fit for you, your family and your wallet. The sky is the limit on what you can do with a little support and some creative thinking and with a focus on working together for the greater good of everyone. Think about it!