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  • Writer's pictureAngela Larimer

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is the method for peacefully and amicably resolving problems and coming up with a solution for two or more parties who have a conflict or disagreement(s). Why is it important for couples who are in divorce proceedings to practice conflict resolution? Because conflict resolution leaves the parties in a better position to co-parent, allows the parties to spend less money on a divorce or parenting issue and it causes less emotional stress.

Conflict resolutions, collaborative processes and mediation in divorce proceedings assists in guiding the parties towards resolving their own issues. The tools are exceptionally useful when discussing co-parenting, child schedules and drop-off locations, as well as for splitting assets, child support, maintenance (formerly known as alimony) and more.

It is useful to go into the discussion with a business-like-mindset, focusing on resolving the problems. It is important to try one's best to avoid allowing one's emotions to cloud logic. The rules for conflict resolution are fairly simply—allow the other side to completely finish his or her statements and positions. Do not interrupting one another, do not lashing out and do practice speaking respectfully and listening to what the other person’s needs and expectations are. Conflict resolution is not easy because two people often experienced hurtful and heated debates prior to getting to the conflict resolution table.

In order to successfully work towards amicable resolutions, one can also try the following methodology—Try holding your breath and counting backwards from five before speaking your turn. Practice mindfulness exercises or other breathing techniques if necessary. Take notes on what the other person says so as to help prevent you from thinking of a quick-witted response while the other party is still addressing his or her concerns and needs.

Remember your mindset is critical for conflict resolution. Try to remain calm and assertive. You want to be able to speak your peace, express your needs, but also genuinely listen to what the other person has to say. Acknowledging the other party regarding their needs helps you just as much as it helps them. Everyone wants to be heard and everyone deserves to be heard in a compromise. It is counteractive to speak over someone while they are speaking or not acknowledge what they have to say because you were too focused on paying attention to what your comeback remarks should be. This is not a meeting for retaliation. This is a meeting for resolution and possibly even reconciliation on some issues.

As stated on our Larimer Law LLC website, “A Mediator can help your spouse or co-parent and you draw up an agreement that you can both live with. Think about conflict resolution this way—if you could negotiate directly and effectively with your spouse or co-parent, you would not need a Mediator. If you go straight to court, you may not like the judge’s decisions as the Judge does not know you personally or your children and your family’s needs.

Mediation allows you to negotiate with your spouse or co-parent in a safe environment. It allows you to be creative with your family’s individualized needs. Conflict resolution methods also assist in helping you make deals that no judge would ever order in court. Conflict resolution takes effort from both parties to remain calm, mature and reasonable. Both parties must commit to remaining peaceful, respectful and open-minded and trust the process. It is a healthy, positive alternative to a messy, lengthy and expensive divorce or litigation process. Take the time to self reflect on conflict resolution methods and if you think you are capable of taking that leap of faith to try this alternative approach for your conflicts, please call Angela Larimer of Larimer Law LLC at (773) 370-0600 or so that we can assist you through this amicable process.

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