Most everyone knows the old saying that A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush. According to www.wiktionary.com , it means that “It is preferable to have a small but certain advantage than a mere potential of a greater one.” We apply this principal in our legal analysis on a daily basis and many times it guides our divorce clients to a better outcome.
The best way to resolve any legal dispute is through settlement. A Mississippi divorce is no different. A settlement is certain. It is “the bird in the hand.” The resolution of a legal claim through a settlement is like buying an insurance policy. You know the price and the payout. There is also something to be said about being finished. While there may be more birds in the bush, relaxing back at camp and telling stories about the one you caught is a good thing.
Trials are “the two in the bush.” They are risky. They are uncertain. Just when you have the bird in the net, it slips through the mesh and you are still hunting. There are actual costs associated with continuing the hunt and there are opportunity costs. In other words, while you are still hunting, there are things that you are not going to have time to do. If you are hunting, you are probably not resting. Over my career, I have been a part of over 50 divorce trials. I have always been counsel, never a party. When I finish a trial I am exhausted. It takes me several days to regain my energy. A trial is physically and emotionally draining. In the days leading up to a trial and during the trial itself, it is all I can think about and certainly all my client can think about.
When I was in high school, I played football. My team was terrible. In my three years of high school football, my team probably won 5 or 6 games. I can remember after a game, I would replay it over and over again in my head until the next morning. I think when you are going through a divorce, you feel the same way. You replay events over and over again in your head constantly and you cannot rest. There is a frenzy of activity in your brain and a gamut of emotions, none of which are productive.
Unfortunately, not all legal disputes can be resolved through a compromise. A settlement is not an option for every situation. If this is your situation, be still and stay composed and keep hunting.
You will eventually catch your bird.
Craig Robertson is a divorce attorney practicing throughout Mississippi.