WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A HOLE, STOP DIGGING
When enduring a family law matter, whether a separation, or a parenting dispute, you will have a particular objective in mind.
Your family lawyer will not only advise you whether that objective is achievable or not, but will also advise of the various options open to you in pursuing it, and the best pathway to achieve it.
Sometimes however, the best laid plans still see you no closer to that objective.
In fact, sometimes things feel as if you are headed in an entirely different direction (and perhaps even the wrong direction altogether).
That is because your case is like an inkblot – it takes on a life of its own, and sometimes moves in unpredictable directions and patterns, unable to be controlled.
Experienced lawyers will tell you that litigation in particular is not capable of prediction with any precision, and that there will be twists and turns in any case. That is because there are other ‘players’ in your case – your former partner or co-parent, and their lawyer, with their own objectives and strategies to achieve those objectives.
If you are not able to adapt to these variables, you will reach a point where it seems like nothing is working.
So, what to do if you find your case in a hole?
More of the ‘same’ will probably not help if it has not already worked.
So Pause. Meet with your lawyer. Carefully discuss:-
- Your objective;
- Whether your objective is still attainable, or whether it requires review;
- What you need to do to secure that objective (this might be, for example, isolating and assembling particular evidence);
- Whether there are other approaches to achieve your objective.
While you may have, standing at the starting gates of your case, felt as if the pathway to your objective was a straight line, there will in fact be many pathways.
Workshop them with your lawyer, identifying the potential benefits, and the potential pitfalls, of each.
Sometimes there are no ‘wrong’ options, just options with different possible consequences.
Usually, one or two approaches will stand out in that process as being viable for your case.
Having selected another approach, or another course entirely, re-group. Develop a plan for the deployment of that strategy.
And be prepared to be dynamic, pausing regularly to examine how that strategy is working, and whether any adjustments are required.
Of course, this process should be completed thoughtfully, as changing strategy every other week will not solve any problems at all.
The realisation that getting from ‘now’, to the achievement of your objective, is not ‘fixed’, is liberating. Opening your mind to the flexibility of other options and approaches will help you avoid falling into the same hole again, and will help you side-step further holes along the way.