My client just left on a cruise. Her kids are grown; her divorce is underway; and she does not want to sit here every day from now until the divorce date fighting over the nitty-gritty with her husband. Nor should she.
She has empowered her financial advisor (who is a certified divorce mediator) to bargain on her behalf over the asset split. She has retained a competent attorney (me) to make sure that the deal is fair and that the paperwork gets handled appropriately. And she is “outie,” as they say.
Most of the costs people incur during the divorce process are by either one attorney or another (or both) spending countless hours analyzing every dollar and dime; every cause and effect; every coulda’ and shoulda’ and especially every woulda’ until both parties are angry and broke.
Now, I have a weekly email exchange with this woman, to let her know every thing is progressing as planned. If I have questions about any particular items, I send her the question. She contemplates it while she is staring out at a vast blue ocean, and gives me a well-thought-out reply. No ability to give knee-jerk reactions in this scenario.
Plus, she is not antagonizing her husband. He can be as angry (or sad, or happy) as he wants and she has no way of influencing it or being influenced by it. The punishment motive has been stripped away from both of them, because there is no big emotional pay off. Just a calm little email about where someone left a tax return form.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the time to take from work and cruise; or the resources to make sure any minor children are covered; or the money for a fancy cruise ship. But, in a litigious divorce people take time from work for court hearings, attorney conferences, depositions, and sometimes just mental health days. In a custody battle, people frequently lean on friends and relatives to pitch in and help out with the kids more often and more seriously than thy ever dreamed possible. When a divorce goes to trial, 2 – or more – attorneys work for days and nights and weeks to prepare, billing the client the entire time.
So, maybe when you tally both columns a cruise would end up using fewer resources than a litigated divorce. And, which is even better, a cruise could result in two happier people at the end of the divorce.
What We Love: Distance, time and perspective – three key elements to better decision making.
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