July 13, 2015

Speaking of Fairness

Categories: Collaborative LawDivorce

136216516-justice-gettyimagesThe most important fact about a traditional divorce is that the decisions rendered by the court are not based on what you, your spouse, your lawyers or a judge thinks is fair and frankly, standing before a judge arguing about what is or is not fair is generally a futile effort. Once your divorce enters the realm of litigation, decisions are going to be the result of applying the “facts” to the law. Regrettably, the “facts” lie somewhere within the conflicting testimony, documents, and the other bits and pieces of a relationship’s history that make it before the court and once the judge decides what those facts are, he or she applies the appropriate law and renders a decision – courts are places where fact rather than fair is determined.

Yet, it is possible to find fairness within divorce; you may just have to look outside the courthouse. Finding fairness does mean the parties need to be willing to accomplish something more for themselves and their family than simply getting unmarried – whether that something is enabling one spouse to go to school in order to improve their employability, or arranging a parenting plan so that both spouses can spend time with their children on each child’s birthday. Its not hard to tell when fairness is happening – the best indication is that moment when the other person says “thanks.”

It’s not hard to find these agreement, they come about in conversations over the kitchen table, in mediation, and through the Collaborative Process – basically environments where people feel safe to listen as well as talk. It’s these agreements – the ones that you and your spouse make together based on your own sense of fairness – that are often the longest lasting and the easiest to live with. There’s a bonus to sitting down and creating a fair future for your family – judges generally accept that agreements that you and your spouse agree upon (you know, those fair agreements).

Bruce Cameron
Attorney, Cameron Law, PLLC

Bruce Cameron, JD, MS is a second career attorney, practicing Quaker, and advocate for small town law practices. His solo practice focuses exclusively on collaborative law and mediation with just a soupçon of estate planning for excitement. Bruce believes that alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, like collaborative law and mediation, are powerful positive means to reduce the destructive conflict typical of litigation. He has found that a little peacemaking tends to produce better outcomes for his clients. Learn more at www.CameronLawPllc.com

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