Should We Fight or Should We Talk?

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For many people, the title states the choices they see when they approach a divorce (or a divorce approaches them!). You might as well recognize that talking is the better option.  Here’s why. No matter how angry someone is at the beginning of a divorce, the parties almost always end up talking and reaching a settlement.  In some cases, though, …

Who Do You Want to Decide Your Future?

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Here’s a simple rule for divorces:  Despite what some people think, divorces are not simple or clear cut, unless there are literally no kids and no assets.  That eliminates cases where there kids, but you think you can agree on everything; they are still complicated.  That rule also eliminates cases where there’s a retirement plan, real estate, debts, jointly owned …

How to Encourage Fighting in Litigation

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Let me be clear.  I think it is a really bad idea to encourage fighting in litigation.  Still, there are many attorneys who do just that.  Sometimes, it’s because that’s what the attorneys think their clients want.  Other times, it’s because that’s how the attorney was trained.  Some attorneys believe that fighting it out in court will lead to the …

Don’t Fear Mediation

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In most divorce or family law cases, at least in Tarrant County, the courts encourage or require the parties to go to mediation.  There’s always a line on a scheduling order to put a deadline to complete mediation.  The main reason for doing that is that the process works and very few cases actually have to go to trial. Sometimes, …

How to Settle a Litigated Divorce Case

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Although every case is different, there are some steps that you can follow to try to settle a divorce case in litigation. I say “try” because one side alone cannot control the outcome. Approaching the case in a logical and rational manner may help move you to a reasonable solution, but keep in mind that rationality is often in short …

“What Would You Do?”

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Clients often ask me to tell them what I would do if I were in their place when we are at a crossroads in a case. That’s an understandable question when facing a difficult decision, but I don’t like to try to answer it because: (1) it’s really not my case, (2) it’s not my life being affected and (3) …

Starting with the Small Stuff

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There’s an old saying that has application to negotiations as well as other life issues. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” In other words, don’t try to take on the whole task all at once. Take it a step at a time. Seth Godin recently had a post on his blog that got me thinking …

The Big Picture

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Divorce and other family law issues really are tightly connected to emotions. They are obviously very personal and usually involve some hurt feelings. People do go through stages of grief when a relationship ends, and that makes it tough for a while for most people to operate effectively. Some people, however, have anger issues that make it almost impossible for …

How to Speed up Your Divorce

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One of the most common questions clients have for their attorneys is how to speed up their divorce or other court case. This is very understandable since a family law case is usually unpleasant, expensive and slow-moving. It would be nice if there were some quick, easy answers to help speed things up. Unfortunately, there’s no easy solution. However, even …

Settlements: Curb the Enthusiasm

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For most people going through a divorce, the concept of someone being overly generous in settlement just doesn’t compute. Most of the time, each side fights to get their fair share of the assets. What often happens in litigated divorces (in contrast to Collaborative divorces) is that each party stakes out opposite positions and usually makes extreme demands for settlement. …