July 14, 2016

Packaging a Divorce

Categories: Divorce

173230422-little-girl-playing-gettyimagesMy two year old daughter received Legos for Christmas.  They were the bigger bricks, which are perfect for her chubby, dimpled hands, and pink and purple “princess” Legos that could be made into, what else?  Castles!  She really wasn’t interested in the figurines that were included, but she WAS interested in creating a “super tall building.”  I loved watching her build various creations.

I’m pretty sure Lego didn’t make “girl” kits when I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s.  My little brother had Legos, and I just shrugged them off as toys for boys.  I was into…dare I say…Barbie.  And all things that sparkle.  I would, most certainly, have played with pink and purple Legos, though.  After all, I liked putting things together.  When my “boombox” stopped working, I took it apart and put it back together (and yes, I even fixed it!).  Would I have become an engineer instead of a lawyer if Lego had made purple bricks?  Nope.  But if Lego had created a kit of pastel bricks, Legos might have outsold Superstar Barbie!

Did girls miss out on something by not playing with Legos?  Maybe not.  But what IS it about princesses?  Dressed in her sparkly tutu, my daughter plays just as much, if not more, with trucks and transformers as she does her dolls.  Is it because she has an older brother?  Does she find transformers more interesting than her dolls?  My five year old son is all boy (rough and tumble, loves trucks and ninja turtles, slides into “home plate” – which is the northwest corner of the family room – so much he wears holes in his jeans) so I was pleasantly surprised when he picked up his sister’s doll and stroller and zoomed around the house.   “Great,” I thought, “maybe he’ll play dolls with his little sister.”  Uh…no.  He took the doll and stroller to annoy his younger sibling.

Nevertheless, watching my daughter with those pink and purple Legos certainly made me think about how items are “sold” or “packaged.”  Do we really buy “things” or are we buying an “experience?”  It depends.  I think in many cases, we are paying for an experience, even when we buy products.  (For instance, why do I need to have an aromatherapy experience grocery shopping?  I’m there to buy groceries to feed my family.  If I want such an “experience” I’ll go to a spa.)  Nonetheless, the way products and experiences are packaged can make all the difference in the way we feel.  But with legal services, you are buying a product (the divorce agreement/documents) as well as the experience.

When you are interviewing attorneys, be aware of what they are selling you and how they are selling it.  Does the attorney you are meeting with base his or her expertise on all the cases “won.”  Chances are, that attorney is talking more about him or herself and isn’t doing much listening to you.  This is a divorce, people.  A change in significant relationships within a family.  Nobody wins in a divorce, so please don’t fall for that “package.”  This process is all about getting to a new normal, and if you have young children, parenting them well.  So, the attorneys and team you are interviewing should be all about helping you get to that new normal.  That, in my opinion, is how divorce should be “packaged.”

Audra HolbeckABOUT THE AUTHOR
Audra Holbeck
Attorney, Holbeck Law Office

Audra’s office is in Woodbury, Minnesota and she limits her practice to Collaborative Family Law and Mediation. She received her degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. She has been actively involved in the Collaborative Law Institute since 2004 and is passionate about helping her clients create realistic and workable settlement options. She believes family disputes can (and should) be resolved outside the courtroom, in an environment that allows the family to reorganize, engage in healthy and effective communication, and move forward. Learn more at www.HolbeckLaw.com

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