Monday, November 19, 2007

Divorce: A Good Post on Collaborative Divorce

Scorched earth tactics seldom help clients. Indiana divorce law really allow for these kind of tactics. I still have clients say that they do not want all of the other parties' property. Even after explaining that Indiana law presumes a 50-50 split of the property, I am not sure they understand that this is not taking all of the other person's property.

These tactics require a client to pay a lot of attorney fees. I do not see the sense in driving a client into bankruptcy for little benefit to them. Most lawyers I deal with think the same way but there are those who do think differently. I suspect every area has at least one attorney with the reputation for being a junkyard dog and who demands a fee to match this reputation. The real question to ask is what did he get for his client.

I covered a lot of what drives a contentious divorces before on this blog. You might want to check out Contentious divorces - Parental Alienation Syndrome , Contentious divorces: Divorce case out of control, Prenuptial agreements and contentious divorces, and Contentious divorces - Part 4 - More about attorneys. Then over this past weekend, I read The carrot and stick of collaborative divorce from Domestic Diversions. Which lead me back to what I think this the most important player in a family law case: the client.

Clients drive the cases. Clients do not always know this and sometimes their lawyers do not explain the client's role very well. Clients need to know two major things about family law matters:

  1. The law differs between the fifty states. What you see on television or in the movies does not necessarily apply in Indiana. I can predict that what goes on in California does not go on here - generally speaking.
  2. That a difference exits between short term and long term goals. As much as you might like the other person's head on a platter, this short term goal does not advance long term goals for life post-divorce.

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