There comes a time in every divorce when people say, “I just want it over with.”
That sentiment is healthy. Honestly, if you never want divorce litigation “over with,” there’s a good chance you’re a psychopath.
Prolonged litigation is costly, stressful, and almost always harmful to kids. Like war, it should be avoided if at all possible.
The “I just want it over with” syndrome (the Syndrome) is, therefore, a natural reaction to a stressful situation; or, better put, a way to avoid ongoing pain.
I usually welcome the Syndrome in our clients. It means they’re reasonable people who aren’t vindictive, and who want the best for their kids.
There are times, however, when the Syndrome can overtake our clients at the worst possible time.
Example: When we go to the first court hearing (usually temporary orders). Many times, our clients realize at that moment when they’re sitting in open court airing their dirty laundry in front of perfect strangers, that divorce litigation is something entirely different than they had imagined.
After this first court hearing, clients will call begging for the process to end. The simply don’t want to go back to court.
Another example: Clients who go through a long, unsuccessful mediation often come to us asking if they can give their ex what he/she wanted at mediation to make things stop. Again, this is perfectly understandable. After mediation, we really start ramping up for trial, and no one likes trial — lawyers don’t even like trial.
What We Do when The Syndrome Overtakes our Clients
As divorce attorneys, when our clients are overtaken by the Syndrome, we have to sit with them and assess the best way forward.
Often, we talk people back from the ledge. We let them know they shouldn’t just give in. It wouldn’t be good for their kids, and it wouldn’t be good for them — usually because they’re giving up too much money or parent-time.
We don’t want people to act out of fear when it will affect them negatively for the rest of their lives.
And, often, we realize our clients are done with the process. After lots of thought, they want out, and are willing to give something in order to get on with their lives and not put their kids through months and months of continuing litigation.
If this is where they are; and, after talking it through with them, they want it over with, we help them do that.
Ultimately, we’re there to serve our clients where they are.
So, Should You Avoid the “I Just Want it Over With” Syndrome?
I think everyone should go in to divorce looking to find solutions they can live with. Negotiation is almost always the best way to do that.
You shouldn’t go in to divorce looking for a fight. That’s a good way to hurt you, your kids, and your pocketbook.
With this in mind, the “I just want it over with” syndrome is a healthy check on a desire to fight too much.
On the other hand, if you need to fight, or the fight has been brought to you by an unreasonable soon-to-be ex, then you’ll need to work through the Syndrome. If you let it get the better of you in this type of situation, you’ll give up too easily and hurt your kids.
In the end, lean on your attorney for advice. Your attorney will help you work through your fears and emotions and make the best decision for you and your family.