Getting a Good Outcome in Family Court in SC: Divorce, Adultery, Property, Custody, Visitation
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Obtaining a Good Outcome in Family Court
By M. J. Goodwin
It’s been a busy past few weeks in Family Court. Several trials and several settlements occurred. Due to docket considerations, some of these cases were more than a year old. This means that uncertainty has been the order of the day for these hurting families for quite a long time. The trials or settlements resulted in final divorce decrees for my clients. The finality in and of itself is very desirable in Family Court.
I know that I achieved my clients’ goals over the past few weeks. One client held onto the marital home. Another was able to limit an abusive father’s visitation. Another got an alimony award, but not as much as was desired. Still another was able gain full custody of the children. But what is interesting to me is how the clients perceived these outcomes. In the most contentious case, both my client and the opposing party stated that the other side “was getting what he (or she) wanted.” This was said with much bitterness, hatred and resentment. Bear in mind that both parties got objectively good outcomes, which were in line with the law and reasonable anticipated by the lawyers involved. But what was interesting was that the parties resented the other party getting a perceived good outcome more than they valued their own good outcome. This flawed thinking can cause unhappiness with the outcome of a Family Court matter.
The Family Court and those lawyers who practice law in it are tasked with the difficult job of resolving highly emotional, highly personal disputes that have raged on for a very long time. To an objective outsider, it may seem obvious that one party should keep the former marital home because the other party cannot pay for it and because it is not in fit shape to be sold. But to the parties involved, who may have threatened one another with “taking” the house or who have memories in the house, it is much more than just a property division. It is a symbol of their failed marriage. It is a wound. And wounded people behave in defensive, possibly irrational and sometimes hostile ways.
A client who has the mental and emotional strength and maturity to focus on the objective goal, with a view to the future, is much more likely to be happy with his or her outcome in Family Court.
To all my clients and potential clients, I say: It is important to be realistic. It is important to realize that life will go on and as time passes, the divorce will fade further into the distance. It will always hurt, but won’t always define you, unless you let it.
If you are going through a divorce or separation, you need legal representation. At Goodwin Attorney at Law, LLC, we know the law and also have the common sense necessary to help you not only achieve your goals, but to feel good about achieving your goals.
To contact M. J. Goodwin: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 864-375-0909 for an appointment.