What Can You Do if Your Spouse Takes an Extreme Position During Divorce or Family Law Proceedings: An Inspired Approach (Part 1)

Daniel Noffsinger - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The first known use of the phrase shuttle diplomacy was in 1974. In that year, then U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was busy traveling back and forth among Middle Eastern nations, in an effort to help the nation states solve their disputes. Unable or unwilling to communicate with each other, the nation states relied on Kissinger to state each side’s position to the other side. Despite his attempts Kissinger, was unable to broker a lasting solution to the problems the nation states had with each other.

In more practical terms in divorce and family law proceedings, the person traveling back and forth is usually a mediator. Sometimes the judge assigned to the case assumes the role of a mediator to help the parties resolve their dispute. The two parties are ex-spouses or ex-partners called a plaintiff and defendant or petitioner and respondent in legal proceedings. They are usually represented by counsel, who does a lot of the talking for the parties, particularly when an agreement is being negotiated. The agreement(s) at issue can include the divorce settlement agreement, custody and parenting time agreement, child support agreement, and maintenance or alimony agreement, to name a few.

During discussions and negotiations of divorce or family law agreements, sometimes one of the spouses or partners takes an extreme position, bringing the whole process to a stop. As the other spouse or partner, it may feel emotionally satisfying to brand your ex a fool, in reality the derailment is costly and oftentimes prolongs the dispute, requiring the services of a judge not a mediator to resolve the dispute.

So, What Can You Do?

This month’s post (a 2 part series) is inspired by the musings of President Abraham Lincoln. He ponders, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” The resolution of an impasse during settlement discussions lies in one’s perspective. So in the spirit of cooperation and inspired guidance below are tips to help parties navigate roadblocks to settlements in divorce and family law proceedings. Part One discusses realistic expectations and listening. Part Two explores understanding roadblocks, being creative, and keeping the best interest of children in mind.

Have Realistic Expectations

“I awoke, only to see that the rest of the world is still asleep.” Leonardo da Vinci The Roman Empire did not fall in one day. The lead up to your current impasse may be years in the making. Be honest about the situation, have realistic expectations, and seek to resolve the objections before tackling your expectations.

Look for the next installment of this blog for more strategies and tips on how to deal with an ex during discussions and negotiations of settlements in divorce and family law proceedings.

Get Advice from an Experienced Colorado Springs Divorce and Family Law Attorney

If you are faced with a stated position which is outside the range of reasonable alternatives get advice from an experienced Colorado Springs Divorce and Family Law Lawyer. Contact Noffsinger Law to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.