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Does language automatically make divorce adversarial?

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2019 | Family Law

It is common for Missouri residents and those elsewhere to consider ending their marriages an adversarial event. After all, much of the language associated with divorce proceedings can seem harsh and adversarial in itself. Some people may want to consider changing the way they speak about marriage dissolution in hopes of seeing less conflict in their cases.

In a recent article, the idea of changing the adversarial language associated with divorce was explored. For instance, when a person receives a summons associated with the other person’s divorce petition, the summons indicates that the recipient has been sued. This idea in itself can cause individuals to become defensive as lawsuits are serious matters and can be immensely upsetting. As a result, the case is already starting off on a somewhat adversarial foot.

If children are involved, a number of adversarial phrases are often used for those parts of the legal proceedings as well. For instance, “custody” can seem frightening to children due to its other connotations, such as when police officers arrest suspects. Instead, it may help children to hear phrases like shared parenting time.

Of course, the phrases currently used have legal definitions and are often necessary for divorce proceedings. Still, Missouri residents may be able to make conscious choices in hopes of making their cases less adversarial. If interested parties would like help with this and other parts of their legal proceedings, they may want to enlist the assistance of legal professionals who understand the ins and outs of marriage dissolution.

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