What Donald Trump’s Election Can Teach us about Family Law

We just finished a very contentious election cycle. Many people were upset and many people were happy. There are many takeaways from the election. The politicos are analyzing the data. The media is analyzing their projections. Americans are analyzing the future. We are Family Law Lawyers so we analyze the election a bit differently than others. Regardless of your political preference there are some real clear lessons we can learn from Donald Trump’s election and how it pertains to Family Law.

  1. Things Aren’t Always Obvious. Most pundits had it wrong. We have been representing families for over twenty years. During that time we’ve learned that things aren’t always obvious. 90% of the time, most attorneys will review a case and a situation and declare… “You can’t win” based on their experience. However, experience isn’t the only consideration. This is where creative thinking, optimism and planning comes into play. Whenever we train new lawyers we always tell our lawyers that “a prepared attorney will always beat a good attorney.” Even when everyone tells you that your case will end in a particular way, don’t despair. Know that with the right approach you too can make things result differently than expected.
  2. There are consequences. Just like there are wide ranging consequences with the election of Donald Trump…consequences for each party, consequences on policy, consequences for our future…there are also consequences to your choice on how you proceed with your family law matter. Everyone is price sensitive when it comes to hiring an attorney. Don’t let your price sensitivity outweigh other aspects to your case. You need an attorney with experience. You need an attorney with creativity. Keep in mind, there are consequences with just doing things the same way all the time.
  3. A New Approach is Sometimes needed. The resounding anthem of those who supported Donald Trump was the need for something new. The allure of Mr. Trump was the fact he was an outsider. Both parties this year offered their own version of “outsider” politics. Bernie Sanders was on the left and Donald Trump was on the right. Similarly, too many attorneys assert that they are qualified to help people in family court simply because they are part of the “in” crowd. These attorneys tout their relationships with judges, the relationships they have within the cottage industry of family law and so on. However, families do not need “insiders” they need creative thinkers who can see things from a different perspective. This is why we encourage families to take stock of how their case has proceeded. Are you thinking outside the box? Are you doing business in your case as usual? Is your attorney more concerned with their reputation with the judge than with fighting for you? These are important questions. More often than not a person can honestly say “this can be done better.” That is why a new approach is sometimes needed.