“Participation in collaborative proceedings such as mediation tends to not only decrease the intensity of conflict below the level brought to them by separating parties but also to improve the quality of post-separation relationships between them…” (Ellis, 2014)

“Findings reported by a number of researchers (Arendell,1995: Durham Response to Woman Abuse, 2007; Pruett and Jackson, 1999) provide support for the theoretic assumption that Public Ordering (“going to court”) increases the intensity of conflict beyond the baseline level of intensity that separating/divorcing parties bring with them to family court.” (Ellis, 2014)

“The contribution made by the adversarial family law system and adversarial lawyers towards increasing the intensity of conflict is described in findings reported by Spanier and Casto (1979). They selected a sample of 28 males and 22 females who recently divorced and who agreed to be interviewed. Reports by a number of respondents, such as being “forced further apart” by their participation in the family law system and being encouraged by their lawyers to use a variety of “dirty tricks” led Spanier and Casto to conclude that family lawyers and the adversarial family law system “appeared to encourage couples to become adversaries to a greater degree than they already are….to aggravate relations with the spouse…and to upset and humiliate people” (pp.214-215).” (Ellis, 2014)

Ellis, D. (2014) Marital separation and lethal male partner violence. Violence Against Women (forthcoming)