In our personal lives and business lives we hire experts to advise us what the options are and what is the best solution for us. We go to doctors, accountants, clergy, therapists, lawyers and others to get the answers we need to take action. We ask them, “What is the answer?” This results in them providing their answer for us because they believe that we are looking for THEIR answer. When they provide their answer and we simply follow their advice, we are letting them decide for us, and this doesn’t always work. Furthermore, this approach can have longer term impact on your life.
Let’s look at an example in the medical field which provides good lessons for the legal arena as well.
One of our clients had severe scarring of the liver and his doctors told him it would just get worse. They advised him that he needed a liver transplant and would also need an interim procedure until he could find a liver donor. Both of these suggestions would cause severe long-term damage, reduce his quality of life, and shorten his life expectancy considerably. We asked him what other options he had considered. In his quest to learn more, the professionals he was engaging with were not equipped to provide the information to him that he needed.
What he needed was a thinking partner to help him break the problem down into smaller symptoms and then look at each one separately to be able to make decisions about lifestyle, diet, and other practices which could provide answers so he could maintain the status quo or promote some level of improvement. What we discovered was that those medical professionals were making assumptions about our client’s ability to change based on what they had seen with other patients. “The way it usually goes” was the filter they were applying to our client. But they didn’t even really know the full measure of our client’s drive, motivation, and desire to have a full life and his ability to create whatever was needed. Someone else is making decisions about significant changes in your life that will impact you for the rest your life.
So back to this question of giving decision-making power to your attorney in divorce.
It may feel like the right thing to do because you really don’t know much about your rights and the law in divorce. Or you may default to allowing your spouse to make decisions because this was the way you handled things throughout your relationship. But you are about to create the next chapter in your life and only you know the full measure of your own drive, motivation and what it will take for you to have a full life.
Your attorney knows what his answer would be for you; but only you can assess whether that would be YOUR answer. Partnering with your attorney to consider all the details and how they would play out in the divorce settlement so that you can create the next chapter will result in a much better outcome than if you abdicate your decision making to your attorney alone. Partnering with your soon-to-be co-parent will also result in a better and probably more flexible co-parenting arrangement with the support and guidance of your attorney and other parenting professionals. And partnering with a Divorce Coach, a thinking partner, will help you to look at new options so you can make different choices and increase the probability of a favorable outcome in your divorce. And help you to avoid Divorce Mistake #5: forgetting that you are the decision maker in your divorce.
Please join us for our upcoming live webinar on Monday October 23rd at 12 noon to get more information about how to help your client overcome the 6 biggest mistakes in divorce.
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