In my family law litigation practice, I have had cases where my client wants to win at all costs. They do not care how much it costs or how long it takes. What they are also communicating whether they are aware of it or not is that they don’t care about the outcome. Why do I say this? Well, winning at all costs usually means that a Judge will ultimately decide the outcome. If one is willing to let the court decide how their case is decided, they have lost their willingness to dictate the outcome.
Clients think that this attitude is sexy, powerful and being in control, however this is not only incorrect it does have its drawbacks. Firstly, you are all but guaranteeing the other party will hold firm in their position. This means no compromise, no agreement, no deal. All along the process, you are letting the court decide the preliminary matters all the way up to the trial and its final decisions. By drawing a line in the sand, you are not only communicating an immovable position to me and the other party, you are allowing the court to make your decision. Who knows better than the client their own situation and all the intricate details that are imperative to a successful resolution of their case. Winning at all costs inevitably will lead to the court who knows very little about the issues at hand to make the final decisions about the outcome of the case which may be a resolution that neither party walks away happy from.
So what is the solution? – Changing the mindset from winning at all costs to resolving at any cost. This means a shift to being open to many different solutions to ultimately get to the goals of the couple. Allowing what your real needs are to be communicated so those can be addressed. When a couple is totally involved in the decision making process of their divorce, they empower themselves to create an outcome that will satisfy the ultimate goals. This is the path toward resolution…this is the beginning of the process toward agreement. This process is called Collaborative Divorce.
Attached is a video of a couple discussing their experience with the collaborative divorce process on the Today show. You will also find a song attached as well for your listening pleasure.