Friday, November 21, 2014
Is It the Destination Or The Journey?
I talk a lot about process and helping clients identify and reach their goals. You would be forgiven if you thought that I just meant that on one level. Certainly, I want to help clients decide what financial and parenting goals are important to them. Those are the macro goals. What I don't talk about much are process goals, yet they are equally important. How will the client and their spouse resolve any future disputes? How will the parents reconcile expenses for the children? How will they determine how to calculate what each of them gets from the settlement? How will they decide who to do their taxes? Who to sell their house? How will they decide? It's not as easy as it sounds.
Some people need a detailed process with lots of steps, checks and balances, and details. Some folks need something a little less formal, just a general sketch of what to do. Still others need no process at all. Here in the Trenches, we talk to our clients about how they made decisions in the past, what worked and what didn't work. We ask them what makes them comfortable. We ask them about their spouse and how they make decisions. We explore the level of trust between them. We discuss it and assess. You see, the terms of an agreement are only as good as the process used within it. A durable agreement with an acceptable outcome means all of the terms, both substantive and procedural, are acceptable. The process is something most clients overlook. Not us. Here in the Trenches.