What happens during a divorce when abuse is present? How do you safeguard yourself and those you love during those tough times? Divorce can be an incredibly difficult experience, and it gets even more complicated when abuse is involved. With the help of Susan and Tracy in this episode, you’ll learn how to safeguard yourself or your loved ones during these tough times. Knowing the signs of various forms of abuse could prove vital for protecting both yourself and those around you from further harm.
Why Settling is Better Than Going to Trial
Susan and Tracy discuss the benefits of settlements during the legal process to keep the decision in your hands.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: On today’s podcast, you’re going to hear about trial versus settlement, and we’ll talk about the benefits of settling their case. So I’m Tracy Hightower-Henne.
Susan Reff: I’m Susan Reff, and we have three reasons why we believe settlement is more beneficial than trial. And I think we’re going to kind of keep this to probably family law cases. But these these principles could hold true overall in any type of litigation, but our experience and expertise in divorce law will probably come through.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: True. So what have you been up to since the last podcast?
Susan Reff: We went up to Madison, Wisconsin, for a few days. It was really fun.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: You had cheese curds, right?
Susan Reff: We did. We only had cheese curds one time, and I’m going to tell you they were a disappointment.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Well, you should have had it more than once. You could compare. Were they rubbery?
Susan Reff: No. They were the breaded kind with with really amazing homemade ranch dip.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: I feel like they’re supposed to squeak right or something like that.
Susan Reff: That’s what I’ve heard. I have no firsthand experience with the squeaky cheese curds, but apparently that’s the thing. So, yeah, we should have. But we did have some, you know, it was we got a lot of recommendations for beer. So had some beer. Apparently, Wisconsin is known for cheese and beer
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Because it’s a college town,
Susan Reff: Right? Oh my gosh. So we rode bikes around the University of Wisconsin, and if I would have gone to college there, I never would have graduated. I don’t think I ever would have gone to class that we were riding bikes around the campus about noon on Saturday, and there was a day partying happening already. And then about three o’clock, there’s this mass movement to like the cool hip bar area of kids walking, and I don’t know if they have no open container. I think they you can have open containers. Or maybe I don’t know
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Only if it’s in a red solo cup.
Susan Reff: I saw lots of different kinds of containers and these kids, they just walk from the campus to this bar district and go to the college bars. And I thought, Yeah, it’s a good thing. I didn’t go to college
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Here, but maybe in the wintertime you definitely go to class right in Madison.
Susan Reff: I don’t know. I don’t plan to go there in the winter. I would say spring or summer is the best time to visit Wisconsin.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And in today’s your birthday,
Susan Reff: Today is my birthday. It is on a Monday.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Even I told you we would celebrate by recording a podcast. How do you feel about that?
Susan Reff: I’m really OK with it. I think it’s a great way to start the day and a new year.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Do you have any plans for your birthday? Any cake plans?
Susan Reff: I heard there’s going to be some homemade popsicles later that I specifically requested from a local shop that I saw on social media. That’s kind of maybe a pandemic pop up that was like a dad and daughter team.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So there’s no alcohol in them. Probably.
Susan Reff: No, no, they’re like gourmet, though. Oh, like one is like Snickers bar and one is cherry cheesecake or strawberry cheesecake.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So the snicker bar, they just stick a popsicle stick and the frozen snicker bar,
Susan Reff: Or I think you got to give them a little more credit than
Tracy Hightower-Henne: That. All right. All right. So we’ll let our listeners know how how that is. Later, we’ll give them a review. So I officiated a wedding on Saturday.
Susan Reff: Do you do the same thing every wedding you do?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: I have a script that says this is only the third one I’ve done. I have a script that I let the couple read, and if they like it, they like the direction it’s going in other ways. I suppose I could rewrite one. But yeah, this was a fun wedding. They originally had their wedding planned April of 2020, so that got canceled and they rescheduled it for the same date 2021. So it was pretty fun.
Susan Reff: So how long? How long is your wedding service the part you do?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: I think it’s about 13 minutes, pretty short.
Susan Reff: It’s pretty ideal, I think.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. So in the midst of being a divorce lawyer, it’s really interesting, right? Officiating a wedding?
Susan Reff: Well, you know, it’s kind of like being a doctor, right? You can be there on both ends of the spectrum
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Or both ends of the body.
Susan Reff: Well, I was thinking birth and death.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Not birth and
Susan Reff: Ends of the mouth
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Speaking of poop, actually. So you don’t mind. Speaking of poop, yeah, yeah. So you know, I have an elderly dog, right? She has a hard time getting in position of pooping. And so yesterday we were doing yard work and she ended up pooping and sat in it. Oh, so I had to deal with that. But at least it was outside while we were doing yard work.
Susan Reff: So that was an awesome Segway from my birthday to poop. Sure. You know, I’m trying not to think of my birthday as being shitty.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Well, once we have those popsicles, it’ll it’ll turn around.
Susan Reff: It’ll be better.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So trial versus settlement, this is a good topic.
Susan Reff: Yeah, you know, every case has to be resolved somehow, right? And true, there’s only two ways a family law case can finalize. It’s either you have a trial and the judge decides or you settle it right
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Or someone dies before it ends. That has happened.
Susan Reff: Right? That that can happen. Or sometimes people reconcile and then they just dismiss their case. But like in general, people aren’t. People aren’t passing away during their divorce, and they generally don’t get back together. So it’s. It’s either having a trial or coming up with a settlement, a lot of people don’t understand what settlement is right. So how do you describe or explain settlement to clients when they’re like, Oh, well, tell me about that.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: I have this discussion with clients on day one. You know, when we’re talking at the consultation, I’m starting to plant the seed with a client. That settlement is going to be in their best interest almost one hundred percent of the time. And so when we’re, you know, starting off the conversation in the relationship, having the client understand that at some point we’re either going to get to negotiation and they’re going to agree to all the debts and assets and custody and all those things or the judge is going to make a decision. And ultimately to, you know, once we get to that point where we’re at the homestretch, is that a sports sports phrase? Yeah, yes. At the homestretch. You know, when we’re looking at the the end of the case, unfortunately too, there’s been a lot of money that’s been spent. And so when we talk about trial versus settlement, even at the end, we’re looking at trying to be cost saving and the benefit of a settlement.
Susan Reff: So that was that’s one of our top reasons that settlement is better than trial. Is the cost, right? Absolutely. So. You know, a trial. They really can be really, really expensive with some unknown costs, too, that we can’t predict upfront, like at the beginning of the case, but I think in general we can always say settlement is cheaper than trial.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Absolutely. And I think some things that our clients don’t understand, and I think it’s our job to really explain to them is the amount of time it takes for us to prepare for trial and comply with the rules of evidence and comply with trial orders that the judges give us takes a lot more time than just showing up at trial. You know, we have a duty to make sure that we come prepared and that we’re prepared to answer any question a judge may ask us, and that takes a lot of effort.
Susan Reff: Isn’t there like a lawyer saying that for every one hour of court time, the lawyer will have to spend three to four hours of prep time, so. And most of our trials, I think we’re kind of seeing take a full day, if not a full two days. So that’s like 15 16 hours of trial time and you do that times three or four.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Hold on, let me get a calculator.
Susan Reff: I mean, I can’t even I can’t even do the math. It’s so it’s, you know, difficult. It’s difficult. But just knowing like how much prep time the lawyer is going to be putting in outside of the trial time plus then the trial time, right? Yeah, that the client is going to be paying for, you know, the cost of that is and borne completely by the client.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And sometimes trial issues can be document heavy and sometimes their testimony heavy and sometimes are both. So when we have a divorce that has really any assets, whether it’s high assets or high debt or a combination of both. We have to have a document to back up every single number that we’re requesting the judge to make a determination about. So sometimes that means we have 12 months of bank statements for each account that we’re asking to be split. And a lot of trial orders require us to make four copies of every single exhibit. So all that back end work, I don’t think clients really understand until we show up at trial, right with with the paper printer paper box of exhibits, right?
Susan Reff: And. And the amount of time it takes to put that together and organize that and. Put that into a story that makes sense for the judge to understand.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yes, it is a story.
Susan Reff: I just finished up a case where we went to trial and it was a we had narrowed the issues quite a bit. And I thought the trial went really smooth, there wasn’t any unexpected things that happened in trial, and the judge issued the order and even on some of the things that we had agreed upon. The judge got it wrong in the judge’s final order. And so the other attorney and I are are still doing work, yes, to clean up the judge’s mistakes, even though. Those weren’t things we were disputing in trial, right, so there’s there’s that’s a cost. You know, after the trial spending an hour to fix up the the decree that the judge ordered to on the things that we weren’t even disagreeing about. So those are costs to like that kind of, you know, like when you have a house project and they put like 20 percent for incidentals. You know, I think the same could be true for trial, like 15 to 20 percent for the stuff that we don’t know could happen that could come up at trial.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: True. I was thinking about that, too. I just got an order after we went to trial on a custody case, so it was custody and child support. And this judge wanted a proposed order and a proposed parenting plan from both of the attorneys. So we type up exactly word for word what we want, and the judge wants it in a format that he can edit and change however he wants. And so when he issues the order, it’s already signed and done and you either live with it or you file a motion to clarify. And in this particular case, our client was happy with the outcome. But there would have been some things that we would have made a lot more clear. We would have clarified. And I think that goes into the control aspect of a settlement. Every time we go to trial, you leave so much control in this person that just wears a black robe.
Susan Reff: Right? So one more reason that settlement is better than trial is in settlement. The parties, you know, each have more control. And what I tell people sometimes, too, is, you know, if if we go to trial, a judge is going to hear from what, you know, Parent A wants for custody and the judge is going to hear what Parent B wants. And the judge could give parent a everything they want or parent B, everything they want. Or they can just make up some crazy thing that they, the judge thinks sounds great. Where like, I mean, we’ve had we’ve had trials where the judge says the parents are going to exchange the children on Wednesdays at five p.m.. Well, maybe one of the parents has a standing commitment every Wednesday at five p.m. that they cannot change like, you know, and
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Or the kids doing baseball practice at four or something like that.
Susan Reff: Yeah. And the judges just don’t know enough about the people’s lives to make good decisions. The judge just thinks that sounds logical, and they’re the judge also thinks, well, if I if I get it slightly wrong, they’ll just figure it out together. And we all know that we wouldn’t be in trial if they could just figure it all out together, right?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Right. The cases that go to trial can’t get figured out later when the judge isn’t clear on the orders. That’s true, and I think in our office we have about a 15 percent trial to to settlement, right?
Susan Reff: I think, yeah, I always say like 20 percent, 15 percent, you know, and some of those trials aren’t over every single issue either, right?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah, that’s true. We can settle the majority of issues and have a judge make a determination on one or two or three issues at trial. But I think the other thing too about settlement that I always think oftentimes clients think I’m getting divorced. Of course, this is going to be a trial. That’s what the movies show, right? Yeah. And so they start off with this idea that they need their day in court. And I think one of the things as a takeaway from this podcast that is most important is you hire a lawyer that you’re going to trust their experience. And if we tell you the judge is going to determine, you know, x a certain way, why would you want to take that to trial? We can almost guarantee, you know, based on our relationship and our experience with the judges, we can guarantee certain different outcomes.
Susan Reff: Yeah. And I think, you know, kind of going to the control thing. Why certain people will come into their case and they’ll say this one issue is really important to me, I mean, I think we’ve talked about this on other podcast too. People will say This is what I really want to get out of my case or this one. One thing I
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Catch, I want the couch.
Susan Reff: Yeah, kidding.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Sometimes people want the couch.
Susan Reff: They they they have their their mind set on one thing, and they’re willing to really negotiate on other things. Well, in a trial that doesn’t matter. The judge doesn’t prioritize one thing as more important than other things. So if the judge is deciding everything, the judge is, even if you testify to it right that this is the judge, this is the one thing I really care the most about. The judge is going to say I care equally about custody, money, retirement accounts, the house, the cars, the bank accounts, all of that. It all in the judge’s mind is equal, right?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And I think the other thing too, that’s interesting for clients to have to put aside that we have to tell them to put aside is certain things aren’t dependent on other things, right? So whether you get x dollars from the savings account is not dependent on how much custody or parenting time you’re going to get. And I think when we do negotiations and settlement with an opposing counsel, you can state your client’s position, but everyone understands you don’t. You don’t say, OK, I’ll take x dollars in child support. If I can get the grill in the backyard,
Susan Reff: I I get I get really kind of this is an area that I get really kind of snarky with clients on, and I tell them, you’re not negotiating your children against your money. Like, that’s not how it works. I kind of let them know that I’m not willing to negotiate that way. Yeah, because I think that that’s personal.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: It’s almost unethical.
Susan Reff: Well, and it’s it’s sickening. If you think about it, like people are like, Well, I’ll be, I’d be willing to give up some time with my kids if I got more money. I mean, really, think about that. That’s that’s pretty gross, right? And I think sometimes people need that reality check of me saying, like, we’re not going down that path, and some people don’t understand that it’s everything is its own little bucket and you can decide each bucket separate from the others. But I think sometimes people get caught up in emotion and they’re not. They wouldn’t normally talk like that or think that way. But maybe they. You know, our stress or whatever, you know, the process gets them that way, so I mean, I’ve never had a client pushed back at me to the point where it’s, you know, ruined our relationship. I think most people either need that that little bit of a wake up call to say we’re not going there or they they realize what they’re saying is not not right.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So we’ve had a couple of clients. So in the last almost 10 years that we’ve come to a position near the end of their case where they just say, no, I want to go to court and the settlement offer is probably in their better. Right. It’s more beneficial for them. And we say you’re either going to accept the settlement or you can go to trial, but we’re not going to go to trial with you. And we haven’t done that very often because it’s not always 100 percent clear, but I think that comes from where you have to have the trust with your attorney.
Susan Reff: And I think some of those times where we see a really good settlement offer for our client and they. They want the the the trial is either they want to. They think they’re in control if they go to trial and that they think they can be the like the referee of the game if they’re going to trial or they’re going to trial because they want to. It’s the principle thing or they feel like they want to have that. They want to air dirty laundry of the other side and somehow even get an even better offer. And that’s where I think we do kind of what you said, which is, you know, it’s not going to get any better than this and this is already a pretty sweet deal. So if you don’t if you don’t want to take this, let’s look hard at what you could end up with that trial, which is none of what they’re offering for settlement.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Right? The cost benefit ratio, right? I think that’s an accounting term, but the risk and the rewards of going to trial versus settling. And I think oftentimes sometimes people are blinded by, you know, one issue that they really want and that might be the most important thing to both spouses and both spouses are really digging their heels in on one issue. And maybe it’s sometimes it’s related to how retirement accounts are going to get equalized, for example, and they just can’t then see everything else as being beneficial and they get blinded
Susan Reff: By the light.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: I definitely can’t sing, but I think that
Susan Reff: That
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Puts our position as the attorneys much more seriously, you know, to talk through our talk with our clients through that emotional aspect of it, you know, of trying to work through some of the emotions to which is what we talked about. A couple of podcasts ago on having relationships with people who can help you separate your emotions from your cognitive thinking, maybe well and.
Susan Reff: You know, so I think identifying emotion as our third and reason that settlement is better than trial because there’s so many emotions already at play in the case, even if it’s going smoothly. And you know, we’re working towards settlement and we’re checking things off the list of, you know, this is agreed on and this is agreed on. You know, I’ve had cases where, you know, we’ve gone to that final hearing, maybe where everything’s agreed on and we still have to do approve of. And I walk out and I have a big smile on my face for my client because we got the case done and our client is crying. Yes, because they it could be for a couple of different reasons, but I definitely think, you know, for them, it’s the end of something, you know, and no one, no one ever gets married planning to get divorced or, you know, starts a family with someone planning to split. And so at that moment of finality is is emotional, and I think it’s even more emotional when you are in the courtroom and you have the person who doesn’t know you who’s never seen you before, who only knows what is put on paper in front of them, saying I now declare that your marriage is over.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And so so what’s a prove up? What happens?
Susan Reff: I prove up. I prove up is a final hearing in a case where there’s no like disputed issues. So in Nebraska? I think every county. Except Douglas requires you to have a final hearing for your divorce or is to SRP let you?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yes, I think it’s now most counties.
Susan Reff: Ok, so if you can have a prove up, sometimes you have prove ups when you settle your case on the day of trial, which is those are
Tracy Hightower-Henne: My not favorite.
Susan Reff: My least ideal way to settle the case is the day of trial because you did all the trial prep work. So you have all the costs of trial prep that the client endured
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Killed a couple
Susan Reff: Trees. You yeah, your client really didn’t have a heck of a lot of control up until that point, right? And. When cases settle the day of trial, especially if they settle on a lot of issues. People don’t really have the time to emotionally process some of the stuff as well. I think there are certain attorneys that that’s their game plan every time or that’s just the way they operate, and I know that that’s not how our firm operates. We would prefer certainly to settle the cases before we did the trial prep work so that our clients don’t have that cost and don’t have that. The emotional cost of knowing that they have this trial coming up to right,
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So so improve up is when, yeah, you can you can go to court the day of trial. Everything gets settled and you want to record, you want the court reporter to type out everything that was just settled literally in the hallway of the courthouse, in the bowels of the courthouse, they say, or on the steps of the courthouse. And so in the majority of settled divorce cases, you can do a waiver of a final hearing, which is another good reason that you don’t want to go to trial all the time, or necessarily because you can avoid having to step foot in the courthouse at all. With everything is completely settled, you may never have to go to court.
Susan Reff: You know, there’s something about the emotion attached to walking into the courthouse. You know, I had a client my last trial. She said I never thought I would have to be at the courthouse ever again in my life. And you know, she is a woman in her 50s and had. Done guardianship over a her nephew, and that was emotional for her, and then she had to have her divorce trial, and so she doesn’t. I mean, in the end, I’m assuming getting the guardianship for her was was awesome, but it was emotional and then coming in for her divorce trial. And, you know, sometimes in the divorce case or the trial. When you sit there, the other person just says all these terrible things about you. Yes. And every little aspect of you is on trial, even if you weren’t anticipating it, right? Like in this case, it was all about money. And the other attorney asked her the value of all the jewelry she was wearing that day in trial on the witness stand. Yes. He asked her to hold up her hand and show her bracelet and asked how much that cost and then her ring that she had on and her earrings. And she was she could hold her own, and she then threw in that her blouse that she was wearing. She bought on the clearance rack and it was $12
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And a bracelet was nineteen dollars and ninety nine cents, right? Yeah.
Susan Reff: Yeah, it was. She was. She held her own pretty well, but
Tracy Hightower-Henne: That attorney tried to literally drive the bus into the courtroom and throw her under it. But it didn’t happen.
Susan Reff: It didn’t work. Yeah. But but at the end, you know, she walked out and she said, I can’t believe he asked me about that. This is costume jewelry, you know, like.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah, I think
Susan Reff: That definitely, you know, carried a lot of emotion for her that, you know, if we could have settled the case, she wouldn’t have felt she wouldn’t have had to have those feelings.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And even if the bracelet she was wearing was $1000 bracelet, the judge probably wouldn’t have cared, right? Yeah, exactly. That was all posturing. Yeah.
Susan Reff: Yeah. So, you know, the emotions that are attached to trial, I think, are the, you know, the the not dollar sign costs. There’s no dollar sign attached to those types of emotions.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Right. I always say to clients that there’s a lot of value in reaching a settlement in your case, and I think that that isn’t really seen until years later when clients start to realize I’m glad I didn’t have that trial. I’m glad I didn’t have to go through that. And it really comes about when clients have kids and little kids that the value can be that you’re not in a position where either someone’s trying to throw you under the bus or your attorney may have to respond in a way that feels like you’re throwing your co-parent under the bus. But the value and being able to go to a basketball game and sit there, you know, maybe pretty close to your other co-parent or your ex. There’s a lot of value in that where you didn’t say all these awful things just to try to win the couch.
Susan Reff: Well, and how do you win a custody battle, right? Yeah, there’s there’s two ways. Well, there’s two angles right there saying all the good things about your side. So let’s say we represent the mom. We would say all the wonderful things we could say about her. But then we also have to say all the bad stuff about the other parent, right? And you know, we’ve all brought up stuff that in the long run is petty, but that’s how you paint a picture of somebody of being not as good of a parent.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. And we talk a lot about how custody battle is just the awful term, right? But that’s ultimately what it feels like in court, I think, for most parents.
Susan Reff: And then you. You know, you can bring in witnesses that testify for or against parents. And so the last the last custody case I did where custody was in dispute. The one side brought in, like the preschool teachers to say how great the dad was and they couldn’t say anything bad about mom. But they just said how great dad was and then. We had moms. Relatives testify good about her and bad about dad, and it was not, I mean, nobody felt good about doing that right.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And the whole time the judge is like, Are we done yet?
Susan Reff: Right? And I think some of the things that you and I probably have discovered is the judge just really wants to hear from each parent, right? The judge will judge the parents based on their own testimony. So how how truthful you come across are you? Do you seem sincere? Do you seem committed to your kids and working with the other parent and, you know, judges? I think if you line up two witnesses for mom and two witnesses for dad, the judge is going to discredit both of them unless one of them says, like that parent’s abusive or they’re using
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Drugs, which doesn’t mean we should show up to court with 15 witnesses. Right. It is true that a judge typically is just wants to hear from the parents themselves. Yeah.
Susan Reff: So, you know, the emotion? I mean, that’s another cost of going to trial. That’s an emotional cost is preparing your friends and family to come in and testify that and then their relationship with that person is probably severed, too. And that’s, you know, maybe they help take care of the kids when the parents are working and now they’ve just testified against somebody at trial. So those relationships are ongoing to not just the the two parents relationship, it’s the whole family or the friends or whoever supporting the family and the kids.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yes. Another thing I was going to say as we wrap up too, is control over timing is really big in settlement versus trial. So if we can’t settle a case, we are at the mercy of the court’s docket. So if we’re in April and we’re saying, Hey, Judge, we’re ready for trial in April, the judge may not have a trial date until November, for example. Oh, right, literally, yeah. So if we are at the mercy of the court’s docket and there’s different things that need to happen for that client or the opposing party before November, we don’t have a choice. We can’t do anything before then.
Susan Reff: Yeah, the timeline is interesting, I think, for how cases work to because it can work opposite also sometimes the court. Timeline is shorter than what you need, maybe you think you can settle the case, but you need more time. But the court is saying No, no, I want this case wrapped up, you know, by, you know, in the next 60 days or whatever. And you think if we just had a little bit more time, we could probably wrap it up. And then there’s the pressure. And some people need time to process their decisions, you know?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: So yes, so you’re completely out of control on the timing aspect if you’re looking at trial, right?
Susan Reff: So. Today we talked about, you know, kind of three reasons that we think settlement is better than trial, and I think we talked about we talked about cost huge, you know, dollars and emotion emotional cost.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah, those are the top two reasons, probably.
Susan Reff: So yeah. And then, you know, just emotions in general and like how those play into. The present time and the future. Yes, you know, the future. You know, what you do today is going to affect how you have a relationship with people in the future and you’re going to be parents. If you if you have kids, your parents forever, regardless of if you’re married.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah, even after they’re 19, you’re still their parents, right? Right.
Susan Reff: Well, and then they they have graduations and they have marriages and they have their own kids and they have things that come up in their life that parents still get involved in.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: And then the third top reason is control, and that’s the control over so many different things the control over timing, the control over, you know, some things that are really important to you versus things you can budge on. And then also that control in the final language and the decree, which ends up being the thing that you have to follow.
Susan Reff: Yeah, because if you let the judge decide, they’re going to put in their standard language, right? But if you craft a settlement, you can put what works best for your situation.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Absolutely. Especially if you have a good lawyer like us,
Susan Reff: Always if you have a good lawyer like us. Yeah, that’s getting language right is a big part of of settling a case, too. So I think overall, you know, settlement is better clients. Sometimes they feel. They feel like they didn’t get a fight or they didn’t get their battle, but I think in the long run, people understand that negotiating is a give and take. Absolutely. Or at least they should understand that, right?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: We can help, that’s our
Susan Reff: Job on that. Yeah, absolutely. So hopefully this was helpful for people, you know, thinking about divorce or if or if even in the middle of any kind of a case knowing. As they get closer to a trial being set, maybe or thinking about, OK, next step in my case is finalizing what are some things I should be thinking about?
Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. And you can use this information to to take back to your own lawyer and ask some questions, too about the value of a settlement. Absolutely.
Susan Reff: We love settlements.
Tracy Hightower-Henne: All right. So until next time
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