Divorce is always personal. The process may appear to be uniform, relying on the same laws, courts and judges for everyone in Michigan, but because the people involved are always different, the process becomes different. Sometimes it all works very well and other times, things do not work well at all.

This leads to a constant demand for changes. The system should be made less adversarial. Some suggest that it should become an administrative procedure, completely outside of the court process. Some argue child custody should always work from the presumption of shared custody while others point out that judges should have the discretion to decide these issues on the unique facts of each case.

They may all be right or wrong. The process works well when both parents of children in a marriage are willing to cooperate and truly work for the best interests of the children. And surely the children do well in such a situation, as conflict is minimized.

In another case, where there is a great deal of conflict and  much contention, you may be tempted to argue that taking it out of the courts would help diffuse the tension and conflict, but it may not be the system that is generating this conflict. Such problems would likely be transferred to a different forum, but the result would remain.

The best way to keep this strife out of your divorce is simply not to engage in behavior that creates tension and conflict. Even when your spouse is being unreasonable, you need to remain reasonable and work for cooperation.

Of course, you have to protect important aspects of your divorce, such as your property division, but by avoiding creating situations where you know anger will be the first response from your spouse, you will benefit the overall process.

While it may not always succeed, responding in kind with anger is virtually guaranteed to ratchet up the level of conflict. This may be difficult, but you will emerge better off for it and your children will thank you for that.

Source: theatlantic.com, “The Divorce Gap,” Darlena Cunha, April 28, 2016