FAMILY LAW BLOG


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Self-Sabotage & Marriage Breakdown

Alfred Adler, a doctor, psychotherapist and the founder of individual psychology, suggests our actions reflect our goals.  Adler disagrees with his contemporaries Freud and Jung that we are just the products of what happened to us.  Adler says we have freedom of choice.  But we need to acknowledge and exercise that freedom rather than surrender to our feeling or belief that this is just the way we are. 

Easier said than done.

As lawyers we often see people sabotage the opportunity to settle their issues in a timely or cost-effective manner.  We then see them blame others, including their spouse, the spouse’s lawyer or their own lawyer, for the consequences of their own choices. Choices that were often contrary to their own lawyer’s advice. 

Adler says that people can choose to recognize their own freedom.  Freedom to make choices based on logic and reason.  And recognize the need to take 100% responsibility for those choices.

In this context, people have the opportunity to make good choices after receiving expert legal advice about what is reasonably achievable.

As experienced family law lawyers, we pride ourselves on our ability to assist clients in managing, restructuring and identifying logical and rational goals.  And to help clients implement those goals in restructuring their relationship, the parenting of their children and their family finances.  All in the best way reasonably achievable in their unique circumstances.  

Sometimes that does mean discarding certain goals.  Any idea of pursuing revenge, punishment or vindication are counterproductive.   While the law does provide ways to hold people accountable for certain actions it does not do it for every slight, wrong or harm.  The cost of the remedy may well exceed the harm.  Each case is unique.  

We have all heard horror stories about long and expensive divorces.  They are often blamed on the system and the lawyers involved.   Lawyers are not the boss of their clients.  They give advice and recommendations.  Clients choose.   The horror stories, in almost all cases, include one or both spouses conducting themselves contrary to their lawyer’s advice.

No one wants to agree to lose, but is the cost of the chance of winning worth it?  There are few guarantees in life and in law.  Sometimes anger and resentment blinds people to seeing logic and reason. 

Lawyers want to help.   They will do their best.  It is easier to help when clients are prepared to be rational and logical in setting and defining their goals in the context of what is reasonably achievable.  Take your lawyers advice.  Or if you don’t immediately understand or accept it ask questions until you do.  If you still can’t accept it then get a second opinion.   In the long run that will be cheaper than not knowing or doubting your own lawyer.

Get expert legal advice, not just information, early.  Even proactively before considering or deciding on separation.  Getting advice does not mean you must divorce or separate.  Know what your options and expectations should reasonably be before making threats or promises you can’t keep. Set reasonably achievable goals.  Be fair to yourself, your kids and your spouse.  Do that willingly.  Only in that way will you save unnecessary time, grief and expense.

Don’t be a product of your divorce. Exercise your freedom to get appropriate advice and help choose the outcome of your relationship breakdown.

Make an appointment to meet one of our lawyers and see how we can help you make better choices.

Moe Hannah LLP

Client safety is important to Moe Hannah and so is client service. The health of our staff and clients is our top priority.  If clients and counsel prefer to work remotely during this difficult time, options exist for us to provide this service. Moe Hannah is able to do “virtual” non face-to-face meeting through internet conferencing.  We can do virtual consultations, mediation, or mediation/arbitration.
 
We can make it easy!
 
We will email a link for the conference to each person. The only requirement is internet access and a device suitable for the conference, ideally a camera and microphone.  Some people just use their cell phones. 
 
If you have any questions, please call or email us to talk about how we can make this work. 
 
We can still meet at Moe Hannah LLP for those people that would prefer to personally attend.  Everyone entering our office will be screened in accordance with the latest Alberta Health Guidelines. 
 
Our lawyers and assistants are set up to work remotely and we will continue mediation, mediation/arbitration and client meetings using Teams Video Conferencing, as well as our regular telephone conferencing.
 
Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution
 
The Courts have announced that they are limiting access to urgent family law mattes. In light of this, parties may want to consider the mediation/arbitration process.  Please get in touch with your lawyer and/or assistant if you have any questions regarding your matter.
 
We look forward to working with you and helping you move forward during this difficult time. 
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