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Litigation Fatigue – Three Things to Consider Before You Settle

When clients come into our office seeking to initiate or respond to a family law action, they are often full of energy (and sometimes anger) and want to get moving on their case. This energy and enthusiasm usually continues for the first few weeks, but often decreases after that. Most family law court processes take time, and many clients feel the growing desire to get things over with.

While we understand (and often share) the feeling of wanting to be done with a legal battle, we encourage clients to stay the course if settlement is not in their best interest. On the other hand, there are cases that we encourage our clients to settle (for example, when more money can be saved by reduced legal fees than could be gained by continuing litigation). When we do believe that staying the course is the right action we encourage our clients to do the following:

  1. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: if you initiated an action to get something, and you don’t have it yet, don’t give up just because you are tired.
  2. Think About How Long You’ll Have to Live With the Results: In many cases, our clients will have to live with the results of a family law action for the rest of their lives. Don’t settle for something that you will regret a year from now so that you don’t have to have a stressful couple weeks (or months). (An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is also an appropriate expression here.)
  3. Do it For the Kids: In some cases our client doesn’t come into our office asking for us to advocate for him or her; instead, some clients are seeking someone that will advocate for what they believe is in the best interest of their children or step-children. If you start a family law action for the sake of someone else, think of them when your resolve wanes. Think if you want them to live with whatever you are considering settling for.