Although I have been a divorce lawyer for 14 years, I have never been divorced. Well, let me take that back, I did get divorced from a law firm one time. Actually got served with a lawsuit by a big African American guy named Lopez. He was wearing a three-piece suit on a hot July Mississippi day –sweating like it was nobodies business. Looking back, it was sort of comical, but at the time, it was serious stuff.
I got prepared for war –started doing legal research, brought my most respected and trusted colleagues to come to my aid, and started position maneuvering. The last thing I wanted to do while rebranding my practice without the big firm was to have the hassle of a lawsuit looming over my head. While I certainly felt like I was right, the opportunity cost significantly outweighed the potential gain. Whenever you are in that legal position, there is only one thing to do –settle. That does not mean that there is not a time and place to go to court, because many times the legal fees and energy you will expend are very worth it.
Judges are great. They have a servant’s heart. They want what is best for you kids. But Judges are in the business of making decisions that are often less customized than what lawyers will negotiate. Judges decisions are based on their view of the world –not yours.
While we didn’t have to mediate my case, I would have. I believe in the process of mediation. Professor Debbie Bell did a couple of videos for me forever ago on the subject. You can look at them in our on our Vimeo site.
Mediation is a structured discussion about resolving the issues in your case with the aid of a neutral third party who helps facilitate the conversation. Often times, people very much disagree with one another in a polarizing way. It is easy to be polarized from your most trusted friend. The one who hurt you the most. However, when people have a third party to hear the basis of their position, and then they turn around and do the same thing with your soon to be former spouse, you may be surprised that while you disagree on some points, you agree on many of the important things, and you can come to a creative compromise.
Divorcing people both love the same kids, they have shared experiences and there is something within them that put them on the same page –at least once upon a time.
Ask your lawyer about mediation today. It may save you thousands of dollars and months of sleepless nights. Tell them about me. I am a mediator. I take a fast paced, practical, creative approach to the process and will help you resolve your dispute.