Don’t Assume

Don’t Assume

You’re getting divorced. Don’t lose your head. And don’t assume.

I was recording recently at my video producer’s studio when one of the studio lights suddenly caught fire. I was closest to the flames, but I hesitated before jumping into action to put them out, pondering the fact that I ran the risk of the green screen fabric I had already grabbed also catching fire if I threw it over the lamp to smother the fire. I had always understood that a large cloth would work, but what if . . . ?

Although the studio was now filled with smoke, my gambit did work, with little harm to Tony’s expensive equipment, other than the one studio light, or, more importantly, to us.

After we managed to extinguish the flames, Tony and I discussed how the fire might have gotten started. We still had work to do, and Tony had three other studio lights still working. The lamp in question was only three years old, so I deduced that a manufacturing defect had caused the fire. I suggested that Tony complain to the manufacturer. After all, the lamp wasn’t even three years old. This seemed like a plausible conclusion.

And then we found the true root of the problem . . . Tony was sweeping up the ashes and found a big ole’ palmetto bug. We soon realized that the roach had died while standing on the bulb and it was its corpse that had eventually caught fire.

Jumping to Wrong Conclusions

This incident made me think about how people often jump to the wrong conclusions and how it can affect their outcomes. Take a divorce, for example. In this life-changing event, spouses often feel that they must go to court to get justice, to end their marriages. They even go to litigators who validate their assumptions and who fail to explain all their options.

I do something different for my consults. I describe their courtless divorce process options, and finally, litigation. I include the Default Divorce, Do-It-Yourself Divorce, Kitchen Table Plus Divorce, One Lawyer/One Spouse Negotiations, Two Lawyer/Two Spouse Negotiations, Mediation, Collaborative Practice, and finally, the traditional Courtroom Divorce. I even use a helpful poster that I have created to explain the choices. Most clients come to me with little information and false assumptions. By fully exploring all the options, they can really choose the process that is right for them, their families, and their unique divorces.

Another assumption that clients often make is that their ex only wants the best for himself and doesn’t care about the family’s needs. Sure, I’ve seen that scenario, but, thankfully, it’s rare. Most people are good people who just want the best for all involved.

If you’re going through a divorce, don’t assume the worst about your ex. If you remember your, and your spouse’s, most important interests often throughout the divorce process, you’ll be more likely to come to a successful resolution that meets those interests.

Don’t assume. Because you know what Tony Randall said about people who do that. “Don’t Assume”

Learn more about collaborative divorce. Follow Open Palm Law.

Need advice now? Contact Joryn!

About this week’s author, Joryn Jenkins.

Joryn, attorney and Open Palm Founder, began her own firm here in Tampa after a 14-year career in law, two of which she served as a professor of law at Stetson University. She is a recipient of the prestigious A. Sherman Christensen Award, an honor bestowed in the United States Supreme Court upon those who have provided exceptional leadership in the American Inns of Court Movement. For more information on Joryn’s professional experience, take a look at her resume.

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