Advice

Married Couples Are Now Settling Their Disputes In Court...Say, What?

This new TV series solves fights from behind the bench.

Marriage conflict is inevitable, but for some couples, it can totally get out of control. That’s where come the Cutlers come in. Dana and Keith Cutler are jointly presiding over couples in crisis on Couples Court with the Cutlers. On their new series, the judges, who have been married for more than 25 years, take on cases where a martial dispute has taken a turn for the worst.

Money is still the biggest issue that causes couples strife, the Cutlers reveal. “It’s about not having enough of it to cover expenses, how to spend what you do have and how much of it should be saved or invested,” Keith says.

And the second? “The number two issue is what Couples Court is all about addressing - "infidelity or distrust/dishonesty in the relationship.”

Of course, that subject has led to some of the Cutlers’ strangest cases. “We've seen a number of intriguing cases with interesting twists and turns,” Dana states. “Two of the strangest we've handled involved one where the litigants were accusing each other of sleeping with the other's sibling, and another case where the accusing partner got so emotionally charged about her boyfriend meeting up with another woman that she ran over his motorcycle-with him on it!”

With 25 years of marriage behind them, the Cutlers have mastered how they solve their own spousal issues. “If one of us says 'I need space' while in an argument, we give it to one another,” Dana shares.  

“There’s no re-hashing old arguments and disputes, or throwing the past up in each other's face,” adds Keith. The couple admits they have learned what worth’s fighting for and about. “If it isn't worth it, we tend to just concede the issue and move on from it,” they both share.

And they’re not afraid to pass on their real-life experience to couples in need.

Here are their three tips on how to have a marriage dispute, and come through it unscathed:

Fight fairly. Agree on how far you will go before you fight so you know when it’s time to go to your separate corners.  

Leave out viciousness.  That means no name-calling and saying such hurtful things that you leave "forever scars."

Take a (short) break. Leave the room if you need to. But do not storm out the house and disappear for hours and hours, or in some of our cases, for days and weeks at a time.  

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