I saw a quote on the Michigan Family Law Listserv today that I thought worth sharing. The listserv is the forum where family lawyers “let their hair down” and speak candidly. Some in our profession (the “chest-pounders” some call them) promise clients the moon and then blame the judge when those promised results aren’t delivered. But in reality, we all know that the best outcome for a client is the one that was agreed to.

“Bottom line in all cases is this: It’s a crap shoot the moment you
walk through the courthouse door with witnesses instead of a settlement.
Settlements are managed certainty based on the best guesses of the
parties who ought to know them.  Trials are the judge’s best guess
with a lot less time spent on your particular case than the parties
have spent. Logic mitigates towards settlement as most likely to
produce a result a client will be satisfied with, given the alternative.”  John Mertz

So true John. Settlements are “managed certainty.” Will it be a perfect outcome if you and your spouse settle? No. What you will have avoided however, is the “crap shoot” of submitting control over the most important decisions in your life to a stranger in a robe. Why does s/he know your children or finances or needs better than you and your spouse? It’s harder work now but you may also avoid turning into those people who find themselves back in court every two or three years because the battle just won’t end.

You deserve better. And so do your children.

Wishing you wisdom,



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