Letting Go of Perfection

Letting Go of Perfection

Letting Go of Perfection

No marriage is perfect. That’s the honest truth. And so, by transitive deduction, we must admit that no divorce is perfect, either.

So if you’re trying to decide whether to divorce or stay together, don’t base it on the fact that your marriage isn’t perfect.

Marriage – or any relationship, really – is about deciding to choose this person today, tomorrow and the next day. It’s a choice you make every morning when you wake up.

It’s wanting to be married to this person as they are today, and not hoping for them to improve or reach their potential.

This is so important to remember!

Any relationship is about the work and the process and the journey. Ups and downs, highs and lows, happinesses and disappointments. If you do decide to divorce, know going in that every divorce is different, and yours likely won’t go entirely the way you want it to.

A divorce that is perfect for you is going to be different for someone else. The process, the outcome, all those things will unfold differently.

It will help you if, going through the process, you can let go of what you thought might be the perfect divorce, or how you envisioned splitting up, co-parenting, or other future states once you part ways.

Especially never having gone through it before, at least not with this mate, these children, at this time, accept that what is best for everybody might look different than what you envisioned.

I’ve found that in every part of life, it’s important to let go of some imagined ideal – unless we want to live in a state of perpetual disappointment.

Most people divorcing want to settle as amicably as possible rather than beat it out in court during a long and winding trial. If you let go of expectations, engage in reasonable negotiations, and try to forgive – yourself and your partner – you have a good chance of achieving that. Aim for the reasonable resolution, not a perfect one.

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Peacemaker Signature Reliable, Aware, Motivated

Peacemaker Signature Reliable, Aware, Motivated

Peacemaker Signature Reliable, Aware, Motivated

This is the final installment in my series of peacemaker signature blogs. A peacemaker signature is an effort among Collaborative Divorce professionals to articulate what they stand for and how they go about practicing family law. Here’s mine.

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Law is nothing if not reliable, aware, and motivated, and these traits are essential to my practice of family law.

A client can rely on me to be supportive and to tell them the truth about what I am thinking and what the law might do.

Being reliable, though, does not translate into being available 24/7. Clients can rely on the fact that when I say I’m going to be there, I’ll be there 100%.

They can rely on me to get the work done, fully and completely. They can rely on me to be by their side in the important moments. They can rely on the fact that I will always call back, answer their emails, engage with their case.

It may not be on their timeline, but I promise, it will get done.

Hand in hand with reliability is being self-aware and motivated. You want an attorney who is reflective and considers whether she can improve. Someone who will revisit a situation to make sure it was done right.

You want someone, like me, who is motivated on their own, someone you don’t have to babysit or watch over to move your case along.

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Photo by Peter Dlhy on Unsplash

I know myself well enough to know when I cannot take on a case because I’ll be too emotional, or it’s a conflict of interest.

I won’t need you to stand over me and tell me what needs to be done. You want an attorney who leads you, not the other way around.

A client needs to know that he or she can trust and rely on their attorney to do whatever needs to be done, who has drive and ambition, and you hope it will rub off on you, too.

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Peacemaker Signature: Detail-Oriented

Peacemaker Signature: Detail-Oriented

Peacemaker Signature: Detail-Oriented

This blog on being detail-oriented is part of a series of blogs about my peacemaker signature, which is how you want to practice law, how you articulate your professional identity. In short, it’s your personal brand, style, and approach to the practice of law. I’ve published early blogs on other aspects of my signature here and here.

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Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash

For a client who doesn’t know what’s out there, I hope they stumble on this blog to learn that they can hire a detail-oriented attorney to advocate on their behalf.

What does it mean to have a detail-oriented attorney? It means I am going to be looking for, finding and explaining all the details that over the years, you might not have needed to pay attention to.

I am so much more detailed than other attorneys … in the information that I ask for, because it’s relevant. Information that other attorneys might just pass over and not consider.
I bring everything, and I mean everything to the table, so we can make solid decisions based on all the information.

Some other attorneys may not like that I dig deep for information, but I’m ok with that. I have to do what is best for my client. It’s important to gather so much information because we are using a process that doesn’t have the court behind us.

The Collaborative approach to divorce does not include formal discovery, where somebody testifies under oath that this is everything that exists to be discovered.

Questions – so many questions!! I ask question upon question to determine what we need to know to work a case toward its best outcome. To get the right information on the table for all to see.

Anyone going through a divorce is likely to be highly emotional, no matter how friendly they want to be. Each person wants to do what’s best for themselves, of course. And in the end, even in a collaborative case, we as professionals are supposed to try to achieve what’s best for the family.

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Photo by Irina Murza on Unsplash

And yet, there are individuals sitting there with their feelings, their stories, their histories, their understanding of the unfolding of this marriage. In the end, every one of us is an individual, with our solitary lives, livelihoods, futures.

The Collaborative process, I believe, is more humane, more respectful, than a typical litigative divorce case, but ulterior motives still slip into any divorce proceeding. I owe it to my client, and to myself, to make sure I have all the information.

There are moments in life when sadness creeps in and at that moment, it feels like the heavy weight of leaving will never end. I hope my clients know there IS an end to that feeling, and I am going to help them get to the other side, through whatever hard work is required.

It may take longer than we want it to, but we must believe that happiness and a better life wait on the other side of emotion. Let’s just take the steps, and the time, to travel the path before us, trusting that it will lead to a beautiful new destination.

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Peacemaker Signature: Compassion

Peacemaker Signature: Compassion

Peacemaker Signature: Compassion

This blog on compassion is part of a series focused on my peacemaker signature, to share with the public how we at Transitions Legal, and how I specifically, practice family law. Check out an earlier blog on balance here.

The word compassionate is all over my website.

Compassion is an important trait for a client because divorce can be so emotional. You want somebody who will understand your feelings, hear what you’re saying, and know how that translates for their case.

Some clients claim they don’t want emotion to enter into the case. A compassionate attorney can gently bring to light that emotion is a natural part of the process and in fact, hiding from the natural flow of emotion might make it hard for us to achieve the right outcome in the case.

When we bring compassion to a case, we help our clients see what they need to see. Here’s a great article about compassionate divorce.

Compassion means I see the person in the case, not just the billable hours or revenue generated.
Compassion goes both ways, of course. Having compassion doesn’t mean I can be taken advantage of. I don’t Google my clients. I am honest, transparent, and straight with them – and I expect the same in return, if I am to be effective for them.

I will not carry a client who can’t pay my bill. I will not make exceptions for unreasonable requests. I have to have compassion for myself as much as for my clients. I’m compassionate enough to speak up when a situation is not as it should be.

Compassion coupled with determination makes a great pairing. I’ve had Collaborative cases where I persist and persist and persist until I get the information I need.

When I feel something is necessary or right, I stay on it. I’m determined to compassionately represent my client, as far as I need to go to do so.

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Peacemaker Signature Balance

Peacemaker Signature Balance

Peacemaker Signature Balance

Are we ever really in balance? At least, we’re always striving for it.

I don’t think of balance as a day-to-day question. I think of it as an overall thing.

Like, if all I am doing week to week is working, I have no balance in my life. When I at least start working out every day or every other day or a couple times a week, I am starting to get more balance in my life.

There are some days when I have to just focus on work. There are days when I just have to focus on family. The key is to look at your life overall, from the cloud-level view, and see if there are enough of each – and of other types of days, too, like vacation, time with friends, time with your partner, time to just wander and gaze at the sky.

That’s how you know you have balance.

It is an ongoing effort to get to the place where we feel balance – and maintain that. It takes effort and consciousness.

Why should a client care that balance is important to me and my firm?

Because if I am balanced, I will be more efficient and produce better at work, on my clients’ behalf. I think more clearly when I am balanced. I have more energy and drive.

And so will you.

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