I am proud I have a pretty good record in our Mississippi family law and divorce courts. The main reason is because I do my best to stay out if my client cannot win. This week has been a humbling exception.
Monday was a child abuse case in Youth Court. Images of a small child hurt by someone close to her are burned in the hard drive of my mind –it’s the sort of stuff that keeps you up at night. Roane Hunter, one of my counselor friends says “The capacity of the human race for evil just makes you want to be close to God.” There is no winner in a child abuse case. Never.
Tuesday was dedicated to a Motion hearing involving an epic divorce stuck on a hamster wheel. After 30 hours or so of formal and informal settlement negotiations over the past several months, with several near misses, the case simply will not settle. We cannot achieve peace and resolution. The parties have chosen war. So to work go the lawyers with our shiny briefcases to maneuver the legal system in an attempt to give our clients an advantage. Remember in Mississippi, if you don’t have grounds for divorce and people don’t agree to get one, you are stuck. I wrote an article called The Divorce Card you should read if you are interested in how this works. At one point in the argument the other attorney, someone who I normally think is really smart exclaimed, “My client has decided it is cheaper to keep her.”
It may me throw up a little bit in my mouth.
It’s cheaper to keep her. Really?
Love is Creative. Hate is destructive. Going through the divorce process with a mindset of love will help you build something. If your mindset is hate or is driven manically to save or to get a few hundred bucks a month in child support, you will destroy the foundation of your new life. The mindset of “It’s cheaper to keep her” will make each of you miserable and in the process, you will jack up your kids –because love is creative. Hate is destructive. Love is the catalyst for change. It is transcendent. Hate is an ugly place, grounded in loathsome despair. Love is a mountain meadow. Hate is a trash heap.
Another thing this smart lawyer said in court to which I somewhat take issue is at any given time while divorcing in Mississippi, you are riding two trains at the same time. One train in the settlement train and one train is the litigation train. I have used the same analogy, but I call them “tracks” or “paths.” His thought process is that you ride both trains at the same time and if the settlement train gets stuck, you keep riding the litigation train. I say which train you ride, which path you take, is your choice. You can take a journey of love, even in divorce, or you can be on one of hate. Handcuffed to the personality and rigidity of our flawed system. The hate train always ends in disaster –even if you save a little money.
The love train is better.