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Keeping Perspective on Family Law Cases During This Holiday Season

This holiday season and recent events effectively and painfully lend some perspective to the kinds of conflicts and disagreements that arise in many other areas of life, including family law litigation and other arenas as well.

We see some of a shift I believe in an area of disagreement like the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, that had been prominent in the political and financial life of the country recently – there seems to be less of a focus now on arguing or posturing and more on attempting to arrive at an agreement. That may have been something that was going to happen anyway, but the tone or approaches do seem different now (although in the one day since first writing this post, it appears that Washington may be returning to “normal”).

There also can be a shift in the approach or mind-set in divorce and other family law litigation, or really in just about any area where there is a choice between conflict or seeking to arrive at a solution. People can seek to work things out or seek to argue. There are obviously times when a threat or force needs to be met with an equivalent response – in the context of family law litigation sometimes there are apparent needs to push back, but even then there are sometimes options other than meeting a highly adversarial position with a similarly highly adversarial response.

In family law cases there can be a clear shift from an approach which seeks to litigate and focus on court procedures, to an orientation of attempting to work things out between the parties. People don’t always agree, and there will be disagreements, but there can nonetheless be a goal or habit of attempting to work cooperatively. It’s a little bit of a reach as an analogy, but I recall going through physical therapy for a back injury years ago, and one of the things the therapist focused on were exercises to change my posture, basically to get the muscles used to the habit of standing/sitting with better posture. I believe it’s possible for people to develop different habits for addressing and resolving disagreements.

For disagreements that arise during the holidays, for example regarding time-sharing, parties can attempt where possible to work things out. Sometimes that’s not possible, or the other parent is dangerous or not the type of person where compromise and agreement is possible, but many times a resolution is possible; or people can decide to work things out temporarily now, and argue later.