It’s the beginning of a new year (and a new decade!), so everyone is thinking about New Year’s resolutions. None of the attorneys on our team have ever been that good at keeping New Year’s resolutions, but we all set them. Who knows? Maybe this year will be the year that we lose 20 lbs, read a book every week, and run the Morris County Superhero Half Marathon. Then again, maybe not.
Even though we are lousy at keeping New Year’s resolutions, we are good at helping our clients set and keep realistic divorce goals. This involves thinking about what it really means to “win” a divorce case, and making a road map that will help us get our clients to that point.
What does “winning” actually look like to you?
We live in a culture obsessed with winning. Ricky Bobby told us “if you aren’t first you’re last.” Charlie Sheen convinced everyone winning has something to do with tiger’s blood. “Winning” a divorce even more abstract. It means something different to everyone.
Some people will only be happy if they take their ex to the cleaner. They want revenge, and the material goods to prove it. Others believe “the best revenge is a life well lived.” One of our first tasks when we meet with a new client is figuring out where they fall on this spectrum.
In our experience, it is more productive to focus on long-term plans than it is to think about who is at fault, or how your assets are split up — even if those things are also important.
We ask our clients questions like:
• Where do you see yourself living a year from today?
• What does having a healthy relationship with your children look like?
• What are your retirement plans?
Even in contentious cases where there are significant disagreements about child custody, or the division of a business, a little reflection on what is truly important is helpful.
Different Goals Require Different Tactics
Once we know what winning looks like to you, we can start to think about the best strategies for reaching your goal. The best path forward depends largely on your values, your life circumstances, and the relationship you have with your spouse. After hearing your story, we can guide you toward litigation, or help you manage the breakup through mediation, arbitration, or a collaborative divorce process. You deserve a divorce that fits your life, and that’s what we help you get.
Holding Your Hand When You Need It Most
No court can award you happiness, or wave a magic wand and make your life the way it was before your relationship with your partner soured. So it is important to think about what winning your case means to you, and then focus on getting to that point.
If you are looking for someone to guide you through that process, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. We are here to listen, support you, and hold your hand when you need it most.