In just about every divorce mediation I have worked on, there always seems to be a final struggle or conflict at the very end of the process. Often this struggle results in a burst of energy that can be filled with anger, frustration, or sadness.
The subject matters of these conflicts can vary from significant and important topics like parenting time or support, or they can involve more mundane issues like salt and pepper shakers or other minor pieces of personal property. Often these conflicts arise over topics that have been settled and agreed to in principal.
I’ve come to realize that in the vast majority of cases, these final conflicts are often less about the topic of support or kitchen items and more about a final release of energy to express that anger, frustration or sadness. I often have thought that these releases remind me of the final breath I watched a family member take in the last moments of life. I’ve struggled with this visualization as I have tried to normalize these experiences for my clients and help them find a way through this last struggle.
Over the holidays, I was thinking about this topic and by chance a program was on in the background that was dealing with the birth of a new baby. As the baby was born it didn’t appear to be breathing, but after a brief smack on the backside, the baby gasped for a new breath of air. It hit me at that moment that the visualization I was struggling with can really be seen in an entirely new light.
Rather than looking at the final struggle in a mediation as an end, it may well be looked at like a beginning. In most cases, the clients have set about or planned for their new lives, and to them the final parts of the divorce process seem a simple formality. They are in many ways ready to take a breath of fresh air in their new lives. I know as I head into this New Year, I am grateful for a new perspective.
Martin Murphy, Esq. is a collaborative attorney and seasoned mediator. He is dedicated to using the principles and benefits of mediation and collaborative law in the general representation of businesses, their owners and in helping families facing divorce, child custody and other family law issues. The Law Office of Martin Murphy, LLC located in Norwood MA, serves clients in the surrounding communities including Attleboro, Canton, Foxboro, Franklin, Mansfield, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Plainville, Sharon, Walpole, Westwood, and Wrentham., Marty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org