September 30, 2015

Garage Sale Litigation

184107135-garage-sale-gettyimagesThey claim it really happened. At a neighborhood garage sale, on the edge of the driveway, sat a cushionless leather couch. The prospective buyer asked no one in particular, “Where are the cushions?” A neighbor whispered, “Here husband took them when he moved out!” “So what’s a buyer supposed to do? Track down the husband and deal on the cushions?”

Like used book stores, items from garage sales come with an attached history that is missing in a retail store. People’s lives are on public display. Broken and separated items from broken and separated lives that used to be. Litigation is like that – public displays of broken lives. Personal property may end up being ordered sold, and the goods and furnishings that were once part a life together end up in a public sale.

Not only are these public displays of broken lives, they are also public displays of an inability to be in control of the divorce process, and keep the dirty laundry away from public view. There is also the humiliation of broadcasting to the world that someone else has to be the arbiter of how these things will be handled because the parties cannot do so themselves.

Without positive support while going through the stress and struggle of ending a marriage, it is easy to lose control over the process and risk becoming a public spectacle. When someone feels out of control it is hard to say what they might do to cushion the blow.

Collaborative Family Practice is the healthy alternative to garage sale litigation. In addition to maintaining anonymity, it provides the parties with the opportunity to heal by resolving differences, reaching agreement and obtaining closure of that part of life. It affords the opportunity to not simply survive, but also to prosper.

Contact any collaborative professional to learn more about how you can create a safe container within which to become empowered by being in full control of your own destiny. Learning that the power of forgiveness as a gift to oneself grants a dignity that reflects well on one’s family, friends and community.

Bruce Peck

Bruce is one of the founding members of the Collaborative Law Institute.
Back in the Wonder Years, this small group was trying to figure out what a new way of practicing family law might look like. Today the collaborative law concept has exploded, not just throughout the United States, but also internationally. For over thirty years Bruce has continued to hone his skills to provide the highest quality of services to family law clients. He helps good people make tough choices during difficult times.

Bruce is a laid back and easy going person who listens well to others. He is a shameless optimist who can always see possibility and opportunity. Being very curious by nature, he is a voracious reader. His love for words has drawn him into being an avid poet.

Bruce’s skills supports clients interests without alienating their spouse. When the parties reach agreement, it is not under duress. They have the time to discuss all decisions with their attorneys before signing the agreement. Once completed, the stipulated divorce is filed with the court for a default hearing in which neither party, nor their attorneys, ever have to set foot inside a courthouse. Learn more at

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