Chief Peacekeeper Scott™ Levin speaks about the price of peace in divorce and how they help clients achieve resolutions that allows them to move forward.
Chief PeaceKeeper™ Scott Levin 0:01
Hi, everybody, this is Scott Levin chief peacekeeper™. Today I’m here with my good friend, fellow attorney, and mediator, David. Callum, how are you, David? I’m doing great, Scott, good to see you as always. Thank you. And so David and I, David practices in the state of Massachusetts, I am out in California. And we’re connected through a really great organization called Vesta that David was actually kind of, were you one of the first members of Vesta. David?
David Kellum, Attorney-Mediator 0:32
Yes, I was, there were three founders of Vesta. Then there was a fourth person, Susan Trotter, and I’m the fifth. So I was the first attorney they brought into the best of program.
Chief PeaceKeeper™ Scott Levin 0:44
Cool. And so I encourage everyone to check out and learn more about Vesta. It’s an organization that empowers people through education and advice and counseling and team building. And the professionals basically speak for free at a series of events that are now virtual. And at one point in time, in the future, we’ll come back to some sort of virtual and in-person combination. And, and we are there to basically provide advice and guidance and educate people. And so David was a part of that in Massachusetts, I’m a part of that in California. And David, David, actually, your website is amazing. All of their articles and one of them, in particular, caught my attention, which is the price of peace. Yeah. And, and so I just thought that, from your perspective, we could talk about the price of peace, what that means, in the divorce world, whether you’re in litigation or mediation, it really comes down to the same thing. It’s all about, you know, settlement, and what is that price of peace? So can you tell us a little bit about that article, and, and we’ll go from there.
David Kellum, Attorney-Mediator 1:57
Yeah, I’d love to Scott. So the article, in the term, the price of peace, is something that came to me in the course of a really difficult mediation that I was involved in with a client that had been going through a divorce for five years. And he and his wife had been separated for 10 years. And they were both ready to move on with their lives. They, they both had significant others that they wanted to live move in with. And, and they needed to get the divorce case settled. But because some of some really long-standing resentments each of them had, they couldn’t settle their case, they were at an impasse. And when I got involved in the case, they were $30,000 a pipe. Now they were divided over a million 1,000,002 between them. And the wife wanted $30,000 extra from the husband to get the whole case resolved, and he wouldn’t do it. And it turned out it was really because she had had an affair, you know, 1010 years into the marriage, and he was still angry with her. And he was just not going to compromise. So it was crazy that the case was going to go to trial, it was going to cost 50,000 $60,000 for them to go to trial, and save $30,000. And who knows what would happen, right? So I sat down with my client one day, after a very difficult mediation session, I was representing him in the mediation, and he was crying that he couldn’t move on with his life. And I said to him, Well if you settle the case, you can move on with your life. And and and he says, I’m never giving her that $30,000. So I asked him to think about what his life would be like if he went home to his fiance. He was already engaged that afternoon and told her that the case was over. And he got this look on his face of joy. And I said when you think about that, is it worth the $30,000? And he’s like, No, no, no, it’s not worth the $30,000. And so I asked him to think about and to talk to her about what really think through what their life will be like, once they were able to complete the divorce, and do what they wanted to do, including buying a second home, refurbishing their new house. And I asked him to think about what that piece would feel like to him and to her, what impact would that piece have, and what would be the price he’d be willing to pay for that piece. So he went home and he talked to her. And he called me back the next morning, and he told me that the price of peace was $30,000 if that’s what it had to be, but I should try to get them less and we were able to settle the case for less than that. $30,000 But he was it was more than he really wanted to do. But he was. So he saw the value of the subjective value of peace in his life. And he put $1 value on it. And that made all the difference. And literally, they lived happily ever after.
Chief PeaceKeeper™ Scott Levin 5:17
That’s so cool. So have you employed that same tactic? Since then,
David Kellum, Attorney-Mediator 5:24
I have I, especially when clients are really struggling in a high-conflict case. Or if they’re at the point of impasse, I always talk to them about the price of peace. I asked them to really imagine their lives with the conflict of the divorce over in many, many of my clients, and many of all of our clients have been living in a battle. For years. I mean, even if it’s one year, it’s too long, if it’s two years, it’s really too long. And if it’s three years, it’s taken over their entire life. So I asked him to really consider what that means in and what it’s going to feel like when that fight is over, how much headspace are they going to have? How much freedom of movement are they going to have?
Chief PeaceKeeper™ Scott Levin 6:08
And what do you find? Other, of course, the one benefit is obviously moving forward, being able to make your own decisions, having the conflict over, so it’s not hanging up, you know, onto you dragging you down? What what are some of the other main benefits that people kind of hold on to when you’re having those conversations,
David Kellum, Attorney-Mediator 6:29
a lot of the main benefits are financial. Because a lot of times people are holding off on starting that next business venture, or taking a promotion, or being creative and exploring their life, you know, some other aspect of their life that and so they can’t make they can make money by giving up money. And sometimes they’re just not productive at their regular job because of the divorce. And they will find that once you know the stress is out of their lives. Once they’ve stopped constantly talking to their supervisors in their co-employees and their co-workers and their clients and their customers about their divorce. They’re finding more people coming back to them. They’re finding themselves more engaged and able to be more productive economically and financially. I mean, it really people really do make money by paying money.
Chief PeaceKeeper™ Scott Levin 7:27
By novel that, you know, that actually reminded me David real quick of another article that you wrote, not that I’m trying to start another conversation but about the bar, about how people get advice at the bar. But they should be really taking advice from the bar. Oh, yeah, new phrase.
David Kellum, Attorney-Mediator 7:45
So I have a blog I called David’s divorce dictionary. And so it’s A through Z, except I’ve only gotten two are so far. But the definitions, the words are not the tip, what you’d normally find in a dictionary. For example, the word see is for a cocktail party. And the definition of a cocktail party is the worst place in the world to get advice about your divorce. And seriously, I mean, think about it, you know, our, when clients come to us, they have so many misconceptions about what their cases about what’s going to happen, what they should be doing, what kinds of how they should be negotiating. And they get all these misconceptions from people they talk to in bars from people at cocktail parties, their family members, their entourage, sometimes people who really don’t know anything about divorce, except maybe what they heard what they experienced themselves. So what I like to tell people is, don’t get advice at a bar, make sure you get advice from a member of the bar. There you go. I knew I screwed it up a little bit. But that’s what Vesta is all about. So the Vesta program is about giving people good information, you know, from experts from professionals, so that they can have data, they can have information on which they can make good decisions about the divorce and about their life Frankly,
Chief PeaceKeeper™ Scott Levin 9:16
I love that and David Can you tell us where people can find the A to Z dictionary blog?
David Kellum, Attorney-Mediator 9:24
You can it’s only eight hours so far. But yes, it’s on my website. Callum Law Group calm. That’s ke Ll e m, Law Group calm, and it’s called David’s divorce dictionary and the entries you might enjoy as well. I tried to be humorous with it. But I tried to give people practical but humankind of realistic advice.
Chief PeaceKeeper™ Scott Levin 9:50
That’s so great. Well, David, thanks. We’re gonna cut it off. But thank you so much for joining us and I really appreciate it and looking forward to continuing the conversation.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai