I believe that identifying goals in your family law case and sharing them with legal professionals that may help you will lead to better outcomes in your case. First, I am going to talk about why, then we’ll discuss in another post about how to actually set goals for a family law legal case. Here are some of the reasons you should set goals in your family law case:
Goals Keep Your Case On Track
Without goals, a family law case can be side tracked by short term events and processes that are not important to your long-term goals. Additionally, legal strategies or tactics may be used that may sound good at the moment but may actually be inconsistent with your long-term goals.
Goals Help You Set And Monitor Your Legal Budget
If you are like most people, your legal budget has limits. Even if money is no object, most people would rather keep their money than spend it on legal expenses. Goals will help you focus your hard-earned dollars towards their best use.
Goals Help You Prioritize
There may be times when you are faced with deciding to take one of two, or more, paths. Goals may help make these decisions easier.
Goals Help You Find The Right Attorney
If you are hiring, or consulting with, an attorney, they need to know your goals in detail. Family law attorneys can advise you on whether your goals are reasonable or not based upon the law. Keep in mind that in family law, few things are certain. An attorney can explain what they feel are likely outcomes but cannot guarantee them to you.
If the attorney feels your goals are not realistic or challenging, ask them to explain why. If the explanation is sensible, then maybe the goals need to be revised. However, if you are not confident with the explanation, consider a second opinion from another attorney.
Use your goals to hold your attorney accountable. At each legal strategy session, re-visit your goals and evaluate if you are making progress towards them. Are any revisions needed? Verify your attorney is not taking legal strategies and tactics that are in conflict with your goals.
Whatever you do, don’t work with an attorney who says your goals are not realistic; you need to either revise the goals, or find another attorney who feels they are reasonable and achievable.
An assumption is something that is held to be true, but without proof.
Sometimes people make assumptions about what will or will not take place in their case. It can be risky to assume things in family law that you have had little experience with.
If there is an outcome, a deadline or a process or anything that is important to you, you need to share those with your attorney or anyone helping you with your case. You don’t want to get to the end of the case and say “I assumed…” only to find out that it was a bad assumption.
Writing and sharing your important goals will avoid mistakes by assuming something to be true when it may not!
Goals May Avoid Remorse
Everyone has heard a story (and maybe experienced) having purchased something big and then regretting it later. Sometimes it is due to making impulsive, reactive or emotional decisions based on short term events or feelings that quickly fade.
Writing goals should help you make a thoughtful evaluation of the law and your circumstances.
Have I Convinced You?
Sure, everyone has a general idea in the back of their head of what they want. I’m suggesting you need a simple, but written, set of specific goals for your case. Don’t worry though – it doesn’t need to be long, complex, or time consuming.
Hopefully I have convinced you setting goals is important! If so, please see our next post on setting goals!