Is Money Everything?/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on November 27, 2018

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The Reader’s Digest recently had this “quotable quote” from Divorce Lawyer Laura Wasser: “Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it provides more comfortable despair.” In a divorce negotiation, or any other scenario for that matter, does more money mean a better result for a client? My answer is “maybe”. Where a person needs support to maintain an adequate lifestyle, money is clearly a major consideration. But what about the feeling that one has acted civilly towards their opposing number? Does that count? What about the idea, that if one gets an onerous judgment against their “ex”, they may just be making breach of the court order that much more likely? What about fighting for principles such as an apology, a new bridge to future dialogue, a feeling that one has been motivated by more than money? Does that count too. I believe that clients find these values quite important.

Getting more money for a client is quite important. What may well be more important than that? Getting to Win-Win. The client will need to live with their value system well beyond the time that the money they receive via litigation, runs out. Is money everything? Hardly. Want proof? Read some tales of those who won the big lottery. Few of those stories bolster the theory that money trumps all. We all need money but we all require a life of meaning and value. For that, my advice remains: Mediate don’t litigate.

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