Knowledge Base

Divorcing Trends: The Centre for Mediation and Dispute Resolution Looks Back at 2013's Divorcing Clients

December 1, 2013    

Written by Dr. Lynne C. Halem


For over thirty-two years, CMDR has helped couples to reach agreements while preserving the historical connections that enable them to build future relationships.

At the end of each year, we take a look backward, seeking to identify patterns, changes and even trends.


In considering 2013’s clients, we have observed the following trends:

        ·      An increased number of clients who have received inheritances prior to their initiation of divorce actions;

        ·      An increased number of clients who elected to structure support terms based on each party’s present and future budgetary projections;

        ·      An increased number of clients submitting application to the court for departure from the Child Support Guidelines;

        ·      An increased number of clients re-entering the workforce after remaining at home to care for children;

        ·      An increased number of post divorce clients who are using mediation for the first time to consider alimony modifications as a result of the March 2012 initiation of a new alimony statute;

        ·      An increased number of clients seeking to resolve the difficulties and confusions of how and where the alimony and child support laws intersect;

        ·      An increased number of clients electing marital mediation, over divorce, as a means to resolve disagreements and tension without resorting to divorce;

        ·      An increase number of clients electing to co-own real estate as a future source of financing for children’s college educations;

        ·      An increase in the number of previously litigating couples who elect to enter mediation;

        ·      An increased number of retired clients who elect to divorce;

        ·      An increased number of clients electing to have shared physical custody;


Trends and changes in the divorcing population reflect our national patterns and evolutions. Our government’s inability to function collaborately and productively in the nation’s best interest exacerbates martial tensions and stress. People react in different, often unpredictable ways, to government shutdowns, not to mention hostile political interactions. Families are beset and confused by changes in the tax code and general uncertainty in the economic climate. A family is in many respects a fragile unit, encharged with providing for the well being of all members in a world where inconsistency and turmoil are more of a constant than an abnormality.


Mediation offers clients an alternative route that is built on constructive problem solving, not the unpredictability of court-generated edicts or the often, intrusive conflict ridden tenor of legal negotiations. Couples have the opportunity to voice their ideas and concerns, to speak and be heard. The validity of each individual’s needs and concerns takes center stage with decision making focused on the family’s present and future welfare. Mediation clients learn how to engage in productive discussions, providing couples with life-long tools to deal creatively and collaboratively with life’s inevitable changes.



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