In many divorces, there is no shortage of issues to fight over. This includes property distribution, spousal and child support, custody, and parenting time. Some disputes need to be litigated because they may have serious repercussions on the parties’ rights. However, other conflicts may be relatively minor especially in light of what it would cost to litigate them. The key is to understand and accept the difference. When spouses cannot or will not assess what battles are worth winning, their divorce is likely to drag on in court and still not result in a satisfactory victory. A good attorney will help avoid this scenario by emphasizing the big picture view. Sometimes losing a battle can help win the war or at least shorten the conflict.
All disputes are not created equal and the first step when consulting an attorney is to discuss priorities. Certain matters may be dealbreakers, while others may be a “nice to have” rather than a “need to have” result. In working with an attorney, he or she must understand what the client feels is negotiable. However, this is not the end of the discussion. The next step is for the attorney to evaluate the chances of winning on that issue and what it will take to win. In other words, how strong is the client’s case and how much time and money will be needed to litigate. This is where attorneys and parties need to consider the big picture view.
Divorce should involve significant negotiation even in the most contentious cases. Sometimes being willing to “lose” or give up something can reap substantial benefits by gaining something more valuable in exchange. The big picture view considers how each action or position taken in litigation moves the divorce forward. If continuing to argue about an issue just prolongs the case with little meaningful benefit (or at a significant cost), then the parties should try to settle it. Unfortunately, when the parties’ emotions take over, they end up fighting over everything regardless of its importance.
If you are contemplating divorce, you can choose to take a big picture view. When you are willing to negotiate at least some issues, you can save significant time and money. Most importantly, it allows you to move forward. The longer your divorce continues, the harder it is to get past it and start a new life.
Contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve the best result in your matter.