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High-conflict divorces can take a toll on Minnesota families

Many Minnesota residents who have been through a divorce would probably agree that the hardest parts of the process were when the situation became more adversarial, and that the court appearances were stressful for the whole family.

A more cooperative divorce process would usually be more ideal for couples, particularly those with kids, but unfortunately that is not always realistic or possible. However, some experts agree that the courts play a role in the contentious nature of divorce and that a modified system could benefit families and make the process less stressful. More encouragement for alternative dispute resolution processes like attorney-inclusive mediation could help resolve conflicts more quickly and have a significant benefit for Minnesota families.

One consequence of a stressful and contentious divorce is that one's work often suffers. It is difficult to completely separate the work day from the rest of what is happening in one's life, and people in the midst of a high-conflict divorce may find it hard to concentrate on their job. Lost productivity can have a lasting effect on someone's career and can hurt their business. This could also eventually effect their earning potential which may have an impact on the children.

Some experts say that the court system propagates a longer, more difficult divorce process because of the belief that it will discourage people from getting a divorce if it is possible to reconcile. However, the data and other research shows that a difficult divorce process does not slow down the rate of divorce.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Your divorce, their business?" Vicki Larson, Nov. 1, 2012

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