As a lawyer and a mediator, my first question of a litigant in a custody case is “Do you love your child so much that you can treat the other parent with dignity and respect?” They always answer “yes” but frequently act otherwise. Treating the other parent with dignity and respect not only benefits the child, it benefits the parent who will have a better relationship with the child, will avoid contentious and expensive litigation, and will most probably achieve a better result.
My three children, their spouses, and seven grandchildren were here for Thanksgiving so of course I enjoyed the holiday. I had special moments and memories with each over the weekend.
Why the children were here rather than somewhere else goes back to the late seventies when their mother and I were going through separation and divorce. We initially had the then typical visitation schedule that alternated holidays with Christmas starting December 24 on even-numbered years and December 26… Read More
As a plebe at The Citadel, I learned that plebes must address upperclassmen as Mister as a sign of respect and that upperclassmen must address plebes as Mister to keep them in their lowly position. Thus I learned that Mr. and Ms. can express respect or contempt.
When litigants in family court refer to an estranged or former spouse as Mr. or Ms., I see it as distance, derision, and disrespect. I advise clients to refer to an estrange… Read More
Conventional wisdom in Family Court cases, particularly custody cases, teaches dredging up all of the mud on the other party and then spending the entire trial plastering the other party with that mud. Erin Urquhart and I believe that the conventional wisdom is not necessarily wise. We think maybe George Bernard Shaw got it right when he said “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”
Lawyers and litigants make a severe tactical… Read More
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