A number of popular reality shows provide contestants with a series of obstacles to be overcome between the starting line and successful completion of the challenge. Whether the particular contest involves cooking ability, physical strength, or some other skill set, a hallmark of the contests is that not every challenge can be successfully overcome by using the same approach. From the lawyer’s perspective, handling a domestic relations case from start to finish could be likened to a reality show contest that involves traversing an obstacle course in which it is necessary to navigate over, around, or through a series of roadblocks. While there are no celebrity judges or call-in votes, what we do as practitioners also requires the ability to identify the nature of the various roadblocks and devise strategies for overcoming them. Unlike the situation faced by the reality show contestants, in our practice, there are some roadblocks that can be overcome and others where the wisest course of action may be to avoid beating a dead horse and acknowledge that certain barriers are insurmountable. The trick is to know which is which.
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