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Don’t lose sight of the ultimate goals of a divorce

A judge presiding over a recent phase of a 17-year-old divorce battle recently admonished the parties in court, telling the couple (both law professors) that they were setting a bad example. In this case the divorce process has dragged on much longer than the original 10 year marriage and has involved extensive filings totaling more than 1,400, and is still not resolved.

While many marriages end on less than friendly terms, it is extremely rare to have a fight go on for nearly two decades. Still, the high number of filings, police reports, and custody disputes show how difficult things can become when the focus shifts from ending the marriage and dividing assets to winning a battle against an ex-spouse.

It can be easy to get caught up in the dispute and many people have to sacrifice a desire to in one final argument with their spouse that they can lose sight of the reason they are getting a divorce to begin with – to start a new life independent of the other person. By engaging in an ongoing legal battle the stress of the marriage will continue and make it harder to move forward. This is why many Louisiana couples find it helpful to engage in mediation to try to resolve some issues collaboratively.

Without an eye towards the ultimate goals of the legal action, the situation can get out of hand. The extended divorce battle in this case has involved both parents having and at some point losing custody of their two children. At ages 20 and 17, the children have now suffered through the divorce for a majority or all of their lives. This arrangement and extended divorce can hardly be seen as being in the best interests of the child, an issue we discussed in our previous post.

Source:, “Court calls law profs’ 17-year divorce fight ‘appalling’,” Kimball Perry, Aug. 12, 2013

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