There really is nothing more difficult than preparing for a Family Court hearing while at the same time trying to settle the same case. Settlement is about bridge-building. Going to court burns every bridge you’ve ever built. Settlement is about forgiveness. Court is about dredging up every hurt, every hardship, every resentment and every insult, and making all of those things public. But as I’ve always said, “It takes two to make peace, and only one to make war.” When someone is on the offense, then you’ve got to play defense, right?. When someone is hurting an innocent person, then you have to step in help, isn’t that true? It doesn’t feel great to write this just after posting about a successful Collaborative divorce, but that’s how life is sometimes, full of gray areas. I continue to believe that even high conflict cases can be settled through the collaborative divorce process; the team approach, the neutral mental health professionals, the neutral financial professional, all working together to help a family to move forward. All you really need is a commitment to avoiding litigation at all costs. But what if one person is not capable of looking at themselves? Not capable of seeing “their part” in the dissolution of the marriage? How is peace achieved with someone who wants to keep fighting? I looked for “images” of conflict on Google. Every one showed two people fighting. Cartoon characters, real people, diagrams, charts, etc., all showing two people yelling, or with folded, resistant body language. I couldn’t find one that showed only one person posturing, blaming, arguing and finger pointing while the other stood quietly, calmly, sadly, wishing things were different. That’s the missing image. The one where there is one person fighting and the other person wishing for peace, but knowing its impossible. Its a real conundrum, and after 20 years of practice, I’m still not sure what the answer is. Any thoughts?