While divorce attorneys everywhere are singing the praises of collaborative divorces and mediation before litigation, the real trend seems to be rushing toward immediate conflict in the courtroom.
Divorces are getting angrier. Clients are still fighting over the same old things: How much spousal support and child support each is going to pay, who is getting custody of the kids and who gets the house instead of the stock options or other assets.
Attorneys try to be the voice of reason when clients come through the door with their fists clenched and their eyes blazing -- one attorney even tries to caution his clients that a bitter, hard-fought divorce is likely to have long-term negative affects that make it difficult (or outright impossible) for them to parent together.
What's making today's couples fight so hard when the marriage fails instead of working for a graceful ending? It's likely a combination of factors:
- Many modern marriages have spouses who each have their own income -- so they both have assets, like pension plans, that they might want to protect.
- The internet helps fuel the fires of a bad relationship as it burns -- angry spouses take to social media to vent their rage before they have time to think -- and friends and family chime in, adding to the furor.
- More fathers are fighting for increased visitation, which decreases the amount of support that the mother's receive -- so sometimes a custody fight is really about support money.
- The rising economy has increased the value of a lot of assets, putting more couples in the "high-asset" category -- which means there is more to fight over.
- Families are more internally disconnected than they were in past. Couples spend more quality time with their phones than they do with their spouses.
It's terribly important to keep in mind that a contentious divorce -- when avoidable -- is actually a waste of money and resources. If you and your spouse genuinely wish to preserve your assets, it's financially smarter to disclose your assets and try to come to an agreement that doesn't involve hours of expensive depositions and a costly divorce trial. Going that route can turn a high-asset couple into a low-asset couple really fast.
For more information on high-asset divorce cases, talk to an attorney today.
Source: The Indiana Lawyer, "Family law attorneys work to keep the calm during stormy dissolutions," Marilyn Odendahl, accessed Aug. 24, 2017