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Stop Thinking "It's My Way or the Highway" in Your Custody Case

childs best interest Jan 21, 2019

I want to challenge you to begin to think in a different way.   A lot of people including myself tend to think in terms of either/or.   Meaning if you have one thing you can't have the other thing.   I want to challenge you to start thinking about is there a way that I can maybe have two things at once and try to reconcile those things?

Oftentimes when parties don't agree they think it's either my way or the highway and that there's no room for both parties’ opinions.   In a recent case I learned that actually maybe there is room for both.   I learned that parties that really work to problem-solve and do it together that maybe both of their core desires can be met and maybe their goals can be accomplished by being open to both points of view.   Let me explain a little more.   In this particular case I was representing the father of a child and the child had some special needs.  He had ADHD and some other psychological issues.   He’d been diagnosed many years ago and recently these issues were impacting the child's school.   

My client took the child to a psychologist and the psychologist made some recommendations. and my client wanted to follow them.   The mother of the little boy didn't want to follow those psychologist’s recommendations and she wasn't even willing to go and get a second opinion.   As a matter of fact,  what she wanted to do is just keep on with the protocol from the doctor’s diagnose for a little boy many years ago.   She wasn't open to anything new so I think for a while both parties were thinking okay either it's my way or the highway.

What ended up happening is we talked about if there was room for both party parties getting what they want out of this case or getting what they want done.   They agreed that they would seek the opinions of both the medical care provider who had diagnosed the little boy many years ago, as well as get a second opinion from a new medical provider.

That’s what they're doing and once they get those opinions in, they're going to reconvene and talk about what's in the best interest of the child.  Hopefully they're going to arrive on some common ground about what the little boy needs.   Instead of getting in a big fight over your provider versus my provider, who knows maybe the two doctors are going to agree.   They agreed to seek information and opinions from both of those providers.   Think about how you can add to something instead of taking away.   Think about how you can include the other parent’s opinion instead of excluding it.   Think about how there's room for both your opinion and the other parent’s opinion.  Think about thinking in terms of both instead of either/or.