Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?

There’s a divorce client from five years ago who I have remained friends with on Facebook. When I first met him–and began representing him–he was trying to extricate himself from a short marriage that had produced no children and from a wife who he did not believe was compatible.

His wife, while unhappy with him, was even more unhappy he wanted out. Although they had almost identical educational backgrounds, he offered her more temporary alimony and equitable distribution than she was likely to get from the court. At mediation we–he, I and the mediator–discussed that he was “overpaying” for the divorce and even had a pretty good idea of how much he was overpaying. However he was happy to do this if it meant a quick exist from his marriage.

Five years later he appears to be living the life he envisioned when he decided to get out of his first marriage. His Facebook posts often highlight a happy new wife and a beautiful young daughter. They frequently travel to interesting places. He’s just moved to a new city for work and is excited about the move. His life appears filled with love and variety. What happened to this client wasn’t right–he overpaid for his freedom–but it did make him happy. I have always admired him for his choice.

Encouraging clients to pursue “perfect justice” is not only expensive, it can be counterproductive to their own happiness. The process of going through a divorce or child custody action can be grueling. Not only is there the expense and uncertainty of litigation, but there is an inability to fully move forward with one’s life until the dispute is resolved. Spending two or more years of one’s allotted three-score-and-ten engaging in domestic litigation should be weighted against the likely benefits of resolving the case slowly but on a “more just” result. It is better to be happy than to be right.

Put Mr. Forman’s experience, knowledge, and dedication to your service for any of your South Carolina family law needs.

Retain Mr. Forman

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