The Worst Valentine's Day Ever

by Meredith Richardson
February 2016

Meredith Mediates by Meredith Richardson

Meredith Richardson
When you're young, the worst Valentine's Day ever may be the day at school when everyone got a flower or a card except for you. That's pretty bad.

When you get a little older, your worst Valentine's Day ever may be caused by someone breaking up with you right before or even on Valentine's Day. That's an awful experience.

When you get older still, the court system (at least those in NH and Maine, where I practice) can help you to have the worst Valentine's Day ever. Your divorce may be scheduled for Valentine's Day.

Every year, I am amazed to find family divisions of the courts open for business on Valentine's Day. Who wants to be in court with an ex- or a soon-to-be ex- on Valentine's Day? No one. Who wants to have every Valentine's Day be the anniversary of their divorce? Only those who 1. are lousy at remembering dates; 2. hate Valentine's Day anyway; or 3. appreciate the irony and can laugh about it. For the rest of the population, Valentine's Day seems to be tailor-made for an administrative court day, where only emergencies are handled, and the rest of the day the court staff can catch up on paperwork and the judges can catch up on writing orders.

Here's my promise to you. If you mediate with me privately, away from the court system, I will never make you mediate on Valentine's Day. Never, ever, ever. I never want to be a part of your worst Valentine's Day ever. Do you?


Meredith Richardson, Esq., is a conflict management specialist.   In her roles as Mediator, Conflict Coach, Trainer, and Retreat Coordinator, she helps people to navigate the difficult waters of conflict.  She is President of the Board of Governors of the Maine Association of Mediators and is President-Elect of the Board of the NH Conflict Resolution Association.  

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