My recent experiences in divorce litigation have reinforced my certainty that court trials are the worst way to decide family financial disputes. Why: because in litigation there is a deliberate disregard of the authentic interests shaping the underlying dispute.
Disregarding interests is the hallmark of litigation. Archaic rules of evidence prohibit the consideration of the important “why questions” underlying all family disputes. Litigation attorneys have one and only one perspective: why should MY CLIENT settle for one penny less than he or she is ENTITLED to. In my experience, judges share the view that property decisions are only about dollars. What’s more, the life-changing decisions judges are called upon to make are of necessity based on an incomplete understanding of the authentic issues because testimony is shackled by the rules of evidence.
As a collaborative divorce attorney, I see how important it is that I do my best to educate potential clients and the world at large about the ravages of litigation. Collaborative divorce’s greatest gift to families is to assure that family decisions are made by families after exhaustive, supported, face-to-face discussions about what is truly at stake.