All Family Law, All Around the WorldSM


How are your New Year’s resolutions holding up? Did you make any? Are you still adhering to them? Did you start a new diet? A new workout regimen? Start a personal growth journey? These are all goals.

One approach to setting goals is to look at yourself and your environment and take an inventory of what your standards are. Standards are not goals. Standards are what we tolerate. It’s our minimum level of what we deem is acceptable. This is not a list of what you want your standards to be, but what they are right now. What are your norms? Is your house generally clean and tidy? What about your office? Your car? Your body? Your clothing? Your mind? Your relationships? Write it all down. After you’ve made that assessment, think about whether you’re satisfied with each standard. For most of us, there is something we’d like to be better at. For the standards you want to change, write down what that new standard will be and what you plan to do to change your standard. This is your goal and a detailed plan of how you reach that goal is critical.

In the family law world, we deal with helping to assess and work on relationship standards for our clients. In many strategy sessions with perspective divorce clients, I explore what efforts have been made to work on the marriage. I have had more than a few strategy sessions that ended with the advice that they first go attend counseling and work on the relationship; divorce, or even a conversation about divorce, was premature. In far more sessions, it is abundantly clear that to change the standards for that relationship (and the overall health of the household), a divorce is imminent. If the standard in your house is a nightly nasty argument, that’s your standard and certainly worthy to evaluate and set a new standard. The same goes with custody cases: if your standard has been to not be involved in the day-to-day care of your children, the chances of getting primary custody are slim, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t change that standard and put yourself in a better position (and more importantly, in a better relationship with your children) with parenting coaching and counseling services.

Change is constant and improvement should be a lifelong endeavor. In your assessment of your standards, if your familial relationships are some of the areas you seek to improve, please call us. We can help assess and create a plan towards accomplishing that goal, whether changing that standard requires pursuing a court case and/or if we need to direct you to any of our many trusted referral partners that can help improve those relationships.

David Purvis