June 5, 2015

What’s Fair?

Categories: Collaborative LawDivorce

149272583-vintage-weighing-scales-gettyimagesWhen you talk to a lawyer, fair is based on the law, so when lawyers try to settle a matter they ask themselves “what’s the court likely to do” and then proceed to come to some agreement based on what they think the likely outcome will be.

If you were to ask a judge, you’d likely be told that it is not about fair, it is about equity; that is to say, fair is about things being equal (or mostly equal). Alternatively (especially in the case of divorce) you might be told that fair is about need; does the outcome meet the needs of the party or parties. While need can look like equity, you have to remember that the parties may have different needs so the question is not “are things equal”, but rather “are the parties going to be OK.”

But if you were to ask yourself what is fair, it is likely that your answer will be based the thousand and one factors that define you and what you believe in. Now, coming to a fair agreement based on individual belief takes a great deal of hard work; there are no neat guiding questions, no precedent to follow. This type of fairness requires everyone to ask themselves “is this the right thing to do” and to engage in some difficult conversations with each other.

Now, there is no one right way to come to a fair agreement, but when trying to create a post-divorce future for your family you may want to ask yourself what kind of fair would you like to use.

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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