Oct 3

HANDS on the WHEEL!

NEED DIRECTION WITH YOUR FAMILY LAW CASE?

My client and I were meeting around the courtroom table across from my client’s former spouse and her counsel. Apprehension and low expectations were definitely the order of the day. If today’s meeting failed to resolve the seemingly intractable, legal issues, trial dates would inevitably be scheduled. The judge summed up the client’s legal situation with a simple, yet accurate analogy.

He compared the court case to driving a car. At the moment each client had a hand on the wheel, and could influence the direction of the car. We lawyers were sitting in the back seat requiring financial contributions from time to time, in order to sustain the car’s momentum.

Should either client decide to take his or her hands off the wheel, the direction of the car would become the sole function of the trial judge. By this time both clients would be stuffed in the trunk of the car.

At the end of the trial when the trunk is finally opened, the clients could emerge only to find themselves in Winnipeg!

I’m confident that the judge was not disparaging Winnipeg (after all I was born there-but I digress).  The point being, there is generally no such creature as a happy family law client at the conclusion of a family trial, only parties suffering from varying degrees of dissatisfaction. That’s because trial judgments rarely achieve the results that either party set out to accomplish, notwithstanding the financial and emotional price.

I am pleased to mention that our matter settled that day, without the need for trial.

Even if you believe that court remains your only option, I encourage you to explore alternatives to court, such as retaining the services of an experienced family law mediator, or a collaborative divorce lawyer, such as myself.

Something else to remember. When I walk out of the courtroom at the end of a trial, my experience with the judge is over. Yours will last a lifetime. Your family’s future is far too important to leave in the hands of anyone, other than yourself.

So keep your hands on the wheel. Or you could end up in Winnipeg!