In the field of Divorce Law, it is important for clients to keep their emotions under control. This facilitates problem solving and leads to a functional and efficient attorney/client relationship. Therefore, in furtherance of this objective, I offer the following three rules for your consideration:
- Consider the context of the problem. This rule recognizes that not all problems are of equal magnitude. Attorneys charge by the hour and it makes sense to not go to court or even get your attorney involved in every potential dispute. An area where this rule is applicable is with respect to disputes involving personal property. As humans, we are hardwired to be attached to our stuff. This is a recurring problem in divorce work. The problem is that our stuff usually is not worth that much in monetary value. It rarely makes sense for lawyers to be involved in matters where their hourly rate will exceed the value of the items involved.
- Evaluate your expectations. How many ways are there to solve a problem? The avenues are not limitless. Miracles do happen, but rarely do they occur on cue. The plain truth is that divorce matters are resolved without smoke and mirrors. It is a straight forward process of sharing information, applying the law to the problem and reaching a result. People find that reaching a reasonable comprise is better than going to court seeking their best possible result. A baseball analogy is in order. Most folks would be better served getting a base hit as opposed to swinging for the bleachers. If your expectation is to hit a grand slam home run on every issue in your case, I think you will be not only disappointed, but will have spent a lot of money on fees.
- Ask yourself, “What part of this problem can I control?” The dynamics of marital relationships are fascinating. There is a lot of button pushing. Often, the only control we can assert over a problem is our attitude towards it, and the words we choose to deal with it. I marvel at the power of the spoken word. Words voiced in anger resonate. Like a bell, these words cannot be “un-rung”. Friendships that have existed for decades can be destroyed in one conversation. Therefore, it is important to consider the possibility that a problem is outside of your ability to control. In such instances, we simply think clearly, watch our words wisely and wait. Sometimes, water finds its own level.