What is a Triangle Smart Divorce?
A common question we get asked is, “What’s a Smart Divorce?” We wanted to take some time to explain exactly what a Triangle Smart Divorce is and what it isn’t so that you have a better idea of what is important to the firm, to our team, and ultimately, why a “Triangle Smart Divorce” is right for you.
We’ll start with the easiest part of what a Triangle Smart Divorce is. Obviously, for those who live in the area, the “Triangle” part of the name comes from the fact that we take cases in the Triangle area of North Carolina. The Triangle is the home of so many excellent universities and companies. It is one of the most well-educated populations in North Carolina. There are so many smart people in this area, not just from education alone, but people who have different life experiences.
After more than 20 years working as a family law attorney in the Triangle, our founder Jenny Bradley realized that the one common thread between all these smart people is that they like to plan. But it is not just planning and doing nothing; it is creating a strategy and executing. Smart people think through what is important to them, what they want to focus on, and what long-term goals they want to achieve. They understand they might have to adjust their execution but know a tweak to their strategy is okay if they reach their goal.
She founded Triangle Smart Divorce partly as a reaction to smart clients coming to her and saying things like:
“Hey, I just feel like I’m going from hearing to hearing or document production to document production.”
“I don’t have a good vision about where all this is headed.”
“I don’t know WHY we are doing all these things in my case.”
“I don’t understand what my life will look like after my case is done.”
Jenny knew they were right.
Simply put, she realized her profession had not done a good job of helping clients decide what is important to them and set goals around that. So that’s where we get to the “smart” part of Triangle Smart Divorce.
After decades of working in family law, she’s seen all the mistakes people make when going through separation, divorce, or custody. Much of the time, it is because the client’s goals and their attorney’s goals were not aligned. They were operating based on different plans, leading to confusion and outcomes no one wanted. No one was in sync. Jenny created a Triangle Smart Divorce to change this, to make sure we tied execution to strategy at the beginning of the case.
That’s the name explained, but what sets us apart? How do we help “smart people from making stupid mistakes?” How do we actually approach cases differently than other lawyers to make it “smart?”
What a Triangle Smart Divorce Isn’t
It might be counterintuitive, but the easiest way to explain what you’re getting with a Triangle Smart Divorce is to first start with what you’re NOT getting.
Litigation for Litigation’s Sake
A Triangle Smart Divorce is not litigation for litigation’s sake. We will have a strategy, and it will never be “file a lawsuit and let the chips fall where they may.” Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many other firms use this as their only strategy for family law cases.
Don’t get us wrong – if litigation ties into your strategy, we will file a lawsuit and fight for you in court. We see this a lot with narcissistic spouses or in custody cases when it is difficult to think about how to share time with your children. In cases where you have a high-conflict spouse, litigation will likely be the only way to reach your goal. But, in most cases, litigation will not tie to your end goal if your goal is to have a better life and create a brighter future for you and your family.
You might be thinking, “Why? Why wouldn’t I go to court?” For a large percentage of all family law cases our team has seen, it does not make sense to put all the choices about your life, your money, your children, your legacy, and your future in the hands of a total stranger who gets a tiny picture of you and your case. A judge hears some evidence and some testimony, looks at some documents, and typically decides what they think is best for you and your family in a few hours. Trust us – this is almost always a worse result than what two reasonable, rational, smart people can come up with together with the help of good lawyers. At Triangle Smart Divorce, we want you to have as much control over your life as possible.
Triangle Smart Divorce is not drama-filled. We strive for our cases to be as drama free as they realistically can. We have many clients come to us who think that they must go to court to resolve their divorce, or they have to scream at their spouse in front of a judge like you see on TV or in the movies, but you don’t. In many cases, our clients never step foot in a courtroom. And we think that’s a good thing. Not only can a calm divorce save your sanity, but it’s also typically quicker and less expensive.
If you have children in the equation, minimizing drama can foster a solid co-parenting relationship. We remind clients that they are tied to their child’s other parent forever, not just until age 18. Most likely, you’ll see the other parent at college graduations, weddings, grandchildren’s birthdays, funerals, and all of life’s significant events. At Triangle Smart Divorce, we help you process your emotions and feelings and mitigate the drama as much as possible, sometimes with the help of other experts. When drama is not there to cloud judgment, we find we our clients can focus on what they actually want and have more clarity about their goals.
Substituting our Judgment Over Yours
A Triangle Smart Divorce does not include substituting our judgment over yours. Many law firms approach divorce like they are saying, “You can get on my plane, but I’m going to fly this thing however I want to fly, and I’m going to take you wherever I want.” That’s not what we do at Triangle Smart Divorce.
You are picking the destination. We fly the plane and ensure you get there in a way that makes sense while keeping your destination at the forefront. If you’re flying from Raleigh to Miami and you say, “I want to go there by going through LA,” we’ll challenge you and say, “That doesn’t seem very practical. Is there something going on you’re not sharing with us? Do you need to stop in LA for something, or is this only about getting to Miami?”
That may be a little bit of a silly analogy to use, but it’s true. At Triangle Smart Divorce, we work with you to learn your destination and why it is important to you, and then we focus on the execution to get you there.
A Cookie-Cutter Solution
The last thing a Triangle Smart Divorce is not: A cookie-cutter solution. No one’s divorce is just like someone else’s divorce. No one’s divorce is like their neighbor’s divorce, their parents’ divorce, their brother’s divorce, their sister’s divorce, their good friend’s divorce, their employee’s divorce, or their boss’s divorce. It’s your divorce. It affects you the way that it affects YOU. It affects your family the way that it affects YOUR family. It’s you, and it’s your life.
If you’re in front of a family law attorney and they’re not presenting various solutions for you, multiple ways to achieve your goals, or different ways to get to where you want to be, we suggest you continue to interview family law attorneys because the one in front of you seems like they have their own agenda—making it easier for them with a one size fits all option. And that’s not right for YOU. With Triangle Smart Divorce, we treat every case individually, every person individually. Of course, there may be common themes and similar facts, but no two cases are alike because no two humans are alike.
What IS A Triangle Smart Divorce?
So, we’ve talked about what a Triangle Smart Divorce isn’t, but what it is? The best way to explain exactly what you’re getting with a Triangle Smart Divorce is by going through our firm’s core values, our SMART core values.
We create value for our clients with our services. At Triangle Smart Divorce, you have a team of attorneys who helps you discover what your short-term and your long-term goals are. Everything we do in your case will be in service of reaching your goals. What we won’t do is set goals for you and tell you what’s best for you. We will challenge you to figure out what’s truly your priority.
Once we figure out your goals, we work together to craft a plan. With a Triangle Smart Divorce, there’s a strategy; there is an opportunity for you not to feel like you’re just a transaction at a law firm, that you are being treated like a human being who has valid wants and needs and desires and objectives. We help you fight for those with what we determine to be the best method. But a Triangle Smart Divorce means we aren’t afraid to pivot the plan when it doesn’t appear that it’s working to reach your objectives. We understand that the plan is a roadmap, but sometimes the road is closed, and you must pick a different exit to get to your destination.
Being mindful of our feelings and thoughts helps us be more aware when dealing with others and with ourselves. We are mindful that for most people who get a Triangle Smart Divorce, this is their first or maybe second experience with the legal system, and we want you to feel as if you’ve got influence over the outcome.
We do that by ensuring that you know what’s going on in your case. If you ask us why we are taking a particular action, we won’t just tell you, “That’s what we always do,” or “That’s what everyone does.” We will go over why every document we ask you for is important. We want to give you peace of mind that you made the right choice in representation, and we feel like our clients knowing what’s going on in their case, and understanding why we are taking the steps we take, leads to less stress and less doubt in their divorce journey.
We are true to who we are and do what we say we’re going to do. We are not afraid to express ourselves, and we’re not afraid to tell you when we see something that may not align with what you’re saying. A Triangle Smart Divorce means you can be authentic with us as well. We want our clients to be their authentic selves because it is cognitively and emotionally draining when we hide who we are. Being authentic, for both the attorney and the client, leads to the best result possible.
There are a lot of attorneys who frankly don’t care enough about their clients or the outcome of their cases. They don’t want to challenge their clients when what they want is unrealistic. They waste their clients’ money, time, and energy fighting for something they know is not possible because they don’t want to guide their clients or care about their goals. They are not taking responsibility for their work in the client’s case.
At Triangle Smart Divorce, we are always going to take personal responsibility for our actions and the effects of those actions. And we ask the same of our clients. We do not want clients who cannot take responsibility for their actions, either during their marriage or during the divorce process. It will make the process so much more difficult, and that is not what we want. At Triangle Smart Divorce, we want to make the divorce process as smooth as we possibly can for your sake and the sake of everyone involved.
We speak the truth, even when it isn’t pretty. We are open and honest in our communications. We will establish trust from the first time you interact with the firm by asking you questions, listening to your questions, and exploring and digging in further on things that you tell us. We want to know what’s going on.
A Triangle Smart Divorce means an attorney explores your goals, discusses your options, and explains how you might get there. We will tell you from the get-go after we’ve looked at your case and analyzed the facts whether what you’re telling us you want to achieve is possible or probable. Then, we decide on a strategy to help us get there.
We are honest with you throughout the case, whether that means telling you when you are being unrealistic or letting you know to keep your focus on the main goal instead of swaying off the path. While being fully transparent with our clients can be challenging and can cause some people not to like working with us because we don’t sugar-coat reality for them, we have found transparency leads to cases that are quicker, more affordable, and significantly less stressful for our clients.
That’s what Triangle Smart Divorce is. We are a law firm where we help smart people avoid stupid mistakes during divorce. We say stupid because going into something so significant as a divorce, without a plan, without a strategy, and without knowing your goals just isn’t smart.
You want a better future with less drama and conflict. We want to get you there by having a clear vision with efficient execution. That is a Triangle Smart Divorce.