Divorce And Family Mediation Essay, Research Paper
DIVORCE AND FAMILY CONFLICT MEDIATION
Till death do us part. Today many people believe marriage is almost like dating. Some men and women meet, and before they get to know one another they make the choice to be wed. That is why divorce rate is higher than it has been in history. Divorce is now a popular solution to problems that many American couples have. Most of these problems could easily be avoided if both individuals would communicate with each other. It seems that in this these last decade more and more people are getting divorced at an alarming rate. Nearly 1.2 million American marriages were dissolved by the courts in 1994- triple the 1960 figure. Experts predict that nearly half of all new marriages will end in divorce. Its purpose is to promote identification of issues, explore alternatives for resolution and allow the settlement of issues by the parties themselves.
I decided on writing this paper on divorce and family conflict mediation. In my personal life I grew up with my mother divorcing twice and in my professional life I see a lot of difficulties in many people’s lives because they cannot communicate effectively. Unfortunately this leads to violence, emotional scaring, substance and alcohol abuse, and children being caught in the middle of a war. In 1993, social scientist Nicholas Zill reported that children of divorced parents are, regardless of their economic circumstances, twice as likely as others to have poor relationships with their parents, drop out of high school and receive psychological help.
When I respond to a couple that are in disagreement the problem is far from starting and the couple is near the breaking point. The lack of communication is the biggest problem that couples face. They cannot effectively communicate their thoughts, desires, and goals to their spouse. This lack of communication leads to conflict and then will lead to divorce if not treated. Generally some sort of substance abuse will invoke feelings and the couple begins to argue and then physically hurt each other. More than half of all spouse and child abuse is directly tied to alcohol and drug abuse. Alcohol and drug addicted persons are seven times more likely to divorce.
I sense that when you look at the problem of divorce and family conflict it has such an in depth facility of issues that are not generally known. I believe that this is an important type of mediation because generally when people get married they love each other, but over the years they do not grow together and lose touch with what brought them together in the first place. With Divorce mediation families can possibly stay together and avoid the pitfalls that arise out of divorce. Think of the children that suffer and the problems they have with violence, school behavior, and substance abuse. Mediation might be the best answer to solve many of these social tribulations.
The origins of divorce are discovered in biblical proportions. “I hate divorce ” (Malachi 2:16) is God’s response to divorce. But I constantly find it necessary to remind the people who attend our divorce recovery workshops: “God hates divorce, but still loves divorced people!” That message needs to be heard. The price for marital breakup is always high.
Therapists and marriage counselors have come forward to say that most marriages do not simply “fail” because of fate or predestination. Rather, what usually happens is that people give up on their marriages because they’re not as committed to making them work as they could be, and because no one has taught them the skills that people need to deal with the disagreements and disappointments of married life together.
A notable fact in the history of divorce is that those countries which have never been Christianized, and those which remained faithful to the Christian teaching for only
A short time (e.g., the regions that fell under the sway of Mohammedanism) conducted the practice on terms more favorable to the husband than to the wife.
Divorce has been around since the time of marriage itself. Although many countries have different opinions on how divorce can be carried out all of them have different views. In Ireland the constitution banned the issue of divorce. It was put before the voters and the law was reversed by less than a 1 percent margin. Ireland is composed of 90 percent Roman Catholics. King Henry the VIII had many wives and divorced many of them against the will of the Pope and the Catholic Church. This set an enormous wave through the religious sect as he created his own church. The Anglican (Episcopalian) or Church of England was created mainly out of his desire to divorce his wives. To me this shows a significant mark in history because of a single person who wanted the right to divorce.
Divorce was generally only handled by the court system. You could file for divorce on the grounds of adultery, abandonment, and abuse to name a few. The process could be lengthy as it slowly proceeded through the court system. Most divorces in the past favored men and generally left women to suffer economically.
I think before mediation there were not a lot of options on how to dissolve a marriage. In the history of the world a lot of bad marriages just stayed together because of religious beliefs and the oath to God. Immigrants that came to this country from others would leave spouses in their homeland and set up a new life in the United States. Many of which were married and had no other alternative to leave. With the lack of ability to legally know if a person was married, often they would remarry, as they became a citizen here. They would change their name as they applied for citizenship or spell it different.
Before mediation I think family counseling was an option, however it was not used as much as you would think. The macho attitude that most men have would not allow them selves to be brought before a stranger and express their feelings. The practice of counseling is a fairly new type of tool of dealing with problems. It is possible that today more men are dropping down barriers and trying harder to make marriages work.
I see many couples when I am at work that uses the police as a source of mediation. They cannot handle certain aspects of their lives with their spouse and rely on the police to settle arguments. A lot of the couples that I have dealt with do not have the ability or maturity to communicate. They do not have reasoning skills to deal with the situations, as they get so emotional. Most of the disputes are about money and adultery. Many couples do not know how to please their partner sexually, socially, and spiritually. This builds up over time and they explode. Generally I see the younger couples that have been married for a year or so and have a baby or one on the way. They are young and are getting to married at an age when they should be going to college or trying to establish a niche for them selves. This culmination of economic hardship and immaturity are to deadly ingredients in a marriage. Letting this issues boil over time results in the divorce of the family.
Most of the family conflicts I deal with are very similar to this issues I just talked about. The lack of people effectively communicating, the lack of respect for one another, and the sense of pride, especially by men, do not allow for effective dialog to take control of a situation. They rely on the police to answer everything for them. This is not a good idea because generally we will arrest someone in a dispute if need be just to separate the parties until the can resolve it later. Alcohol is the biggest factor in disputes. I arrest more people during arguments for being drunk-in-public than any other violation. Its an easy way to solve the problem temporarily and leaves the other person out of the situation. The police take the blame for why they go to jail and not the other person.
I have lived all overt he world and I see that different regions of the country the people are so different in how they handle situations. The South seems to be more violent and has the need to let everybody in the neighborhood know each other’s business. When I grew up you never heard the neighbors arguing or sees the police called because of a domestic. Down in the South it seems it’s a nightly occurrence and generally it is to the same house.
I do not think that police mediation is an effective way of handling problems when it comes to family issues. The fear and hatred of the police do not allow for a person to reason with the police or respect the advice that is given to them. Some police officers are not equipped to handle some sticky situations that arise. Most of this is due to their lack of involvement in a relationship of their own and cannot relate a personal experience to the situation.
Instead of the formal, and intimidating environment of the court, couples work through their problems in an informal and private place. The mediator guides them through the process, provides them with information, helps them explore their options and understand the consequences of different decisions.
The mediation process enables the parties to emerge from a divorce with their dignity and with their self-respect intact. Where children are involved, mediation protects family relationships and establishes a sound foundation for continued parenting. Mediation is a forward-looking process. It does not focus on the past nor does it seek to assess blame. The goal of mediation is to enable the parties to plan for and deal with their futures. Parties are more likely to comply with the terms of an agreement, which they have fashioned themselves, rather than one imposed upon them by the court. Post divorce litigation is thereby reduced.
The effectiveness of mediation has made great strides in helping couples solve issue s and remain married. Mediation has several benefits. Since mediation can generally be concluded in a limited time frame, there is less delay. Confusion and uncertainty as to the outcome, and the emotional toll on the parties and on family members is greatly reduced. Mediation is informal, non-adversarial and, in order to promote openness, totally confidential. The mediator cannot be called as a witness nor can settlement proposals discussed during the course of mediation cannot be revealed in later court hearings. A mediated agreement will generally cost a fraction of the cost of adversarial litigation in court. A party who becomes dissatisfied with the mediation process can withdraw at any time. Mediation helps improve communication between parties and thereby improves their future relationship. This is an important matter where children are involved.
In my opinion mediation is effective and is increasingly becoming popular by couples. A good percentage of couples want to stay together and through mediation and counseling it can be determined how it will work. I think most beneficial effect of mediation is that all issues are brought out in the open. Everyone gets their opinions in the pot and the mediator will not take sides against that person. I think it leaves people with the feeling that they are going to make it and they just need help with their spousal skills.
Through the ages as a people we have progressed remarkably in almost all areas of social landmarks, except on how to treat each other. The divorce rate is always a concern for social reformers and it is contributed to the declining moral decay of this country. I think the idea of mediation is a fascinating issue that is not well known. Mediation has convinced me that it works if both parties put forth and effort to save their marriage. Not everybody gets along all the time, but if you married a person because you loved them. You would think that feeling would stay in your mind and soul forever. Through effect communication at mediation professionals can help people communicate with each other and solve the little problems before the snowball into a family that has to part. If couples would wait their disagreements out and listen to each other, many marriages would be life-long relationships, not short-lived flings.