There are so many decisions to be made when starting a divorce. The first big one is which road to take.
We’ve all heard the old Scottish folk song, “The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond”, or simply “Loch Lomond” for short, first published in 1841.
O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and Ah’ll tak’ the low road
And Ah’ll be in Scotlan’ afore ye
Fir me an’ my true love will ne’er meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomon’.
So do you take the high road, or do you take the low road? Or is there a road in between? Whichever road you choose will still get you where you and your true love will never meet again, but how will you feel about it when you’re there? Do you choose full bore litigation, some litigation and mediation, counseling and mediation, just mediation, collaborative. . . there are several paths. Do you choose the cheap route, do you give it all you’ve got (literally), or do you pick and choose what’s most important?
First of all, there is no perfect road to take. I think some clients are more in tune with what they need and want, and others have a harder time filtering through the process. I’ve had clients tell me there’s no use in negotiating with the other side, so let’s just get busy gearing up for court. While others tell me they do NOT want to be in court at all. Everybody has their own way getting through turmoil.
Second, your roads are usually somewhat limited and confusing. For instance, one party may want to go the route little resistance, such as in collaborative Law. But that route is a viable choice only if both parties choose the collaborative process. Hence, if one party is hell bent on going to court, and nowhere but to court, the collaborative process simply won’t work.
Third, costs of litigation and various financial considerations of other methods can play a significant role in helping you choose which path is best for you. To spend $50,000 on a divorce doesn’t make much sense when the net value of the marital estate is only $30,000 or $40,000. (Hey, it happens more than you might think!). You’re going to need to assess your costs and budget up front.
Finally, consider what your relationship needs to be at the end of the journey (when ye git ta Scotlan’!). Maybe you’ll never see your “true love” again, but will you still be sharing children? Will you still be around the in-laws? Will you still be sharing money? You must think long-term as well as short-term.
And I guess if all else fails, just turn around and go back to England, and stay in your true love’s arms. Of course, if that’s not an option at all, you’ve got some decisions to make. Which road will would you choose?
Might I suggest getting with the right lawyer for you who will be able to hash out each decision with reason and care, keeping in mind what you want when you get to your destination.