Divorce & Custody Battles: Decide on Your Engame

What’s your end game in a custody battle?

Idaho family law attorney Sheli Fulcher Koontz shares the importance of identifying your endgame when filing for divorce. After you’ve determined your endgame, you must ask yourself these questions: 

  • What are you willing to give up or concede to make that happen? All deals require a little give and take. 
  • Do you want to fight? Keep in mind this is expensive, and in the end, you may not reach the results you were seeking.
  • What price are you, your children, or your wallet willing to pay to get to your endgame? Think about the collateral damage and if the money can be better spent somewhere else, like a college fund for your children.

Below is a transcript of the video.

Hi there, I’m Sheli Fulcher Koontz. I am a founding member of the law firm of Johnson May, and today I’m going to talk to you about the question, what is the endgame for your case? Where are you going, and how do you plan to get there?

A lot of times, people come into the office with a legal issue, and the first question I always ask is, “Where do you want to go?” It’s kind of like when you go to the bus station or the airport, and you get a ticket. The first thing that ticket agent is going to ask you is, “Where do you want to go today?”

Determining Your Endgame

So, how do you know how to get to your endgame? What’s the result you want? When you come in to talk to somebody about your case, maybe you’re getting a divorce; maybe you’re having a custody battle with your child’s parent. The easiest way to figure out how to navigate difficult cases like family law, for example, is to consider what end result you want to achieve.

Are you trying to have an amicable divorce, split everything in a reasonable fashion, have as least amount of fighting as possible, or are you in it for the fight, the long-haul fight? If you decide at the beginning what your end result is, you make it a lot easier both for yourself and for your attorney to figure out how to get you there.

Is it even possible, and if so, what’s it going to cost you, and the steps you need to take? And one of the things that you have to decide is once you figure out what your endgame is, what are willing to concede to get there? Some people, all they want to do is fight, and I always tell them that’s fine, but it’s expensive, and at the end, you may not get the results you were seeking.

What Will You Give Up?

If you have a clear idea of what the result at the end is, you have to decide what you are willing to give up or to concede to make that happen, because that’s how deals get made. Everyone has to give up a little something to get to the end result.

The other question that you have to ask, specifically in family law cases, is what price are you or, more importantly, your children or wallet going to pay for you to get to your endgame? If your endgame is to stick it to your ex-spouse because you’re really mad, who is going to be the collateral damage of that? How much money are you willing to spend? Is that money that could go into a college fund for your children? Is that money better spent somewhere else? Are your kids going to be the collateral damage of that?

It’s very easy in family law to be really angry, and that’s what you want, but talk about your endgame with your attorney and let your attorney tell you why maybe down the road and in the future, that isn’t the best route for you to go. Be open because, again, this is your case, you’re hiring counsel to help you, but you’ve got to be open, but you’ve got to know what’s the final step. Where do you want to land when this is over?

So take that quick tip and run with it and decide what’s your endgame for your case.

At Johnson May, our goal is to make you feel comfortable and knowledgeable about your legal options when it comes to making decisions for you and your family. Contact our Boise or Twin Falls office to schedule a consultation.