Category Archives: Opinion

Have a Goal.

Hoping against hope is not good enough.


I’m not trying to be all Tony Robbins-sy, but he has a point. Setting a specific Goal will better enable you to achieve it.

Having a vague idea of success is not that helpful. Routinely, I ask my clients “What is your goal?” They are stunned. It is met with silence. Then a “well, I guess…” We don’t guess, or at least we try to not to.

Have a Goal. Make it specific. Identify what you can do to try to achieve that goal. Work the plan. Set a deadline.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law attorney in Mississippi and encourages you to reach for your Goals!



When an “Agreement” is Not an Agreement.

Let’s agree to disagree.


Parties in a lawsuit have a lot of latitude to agree to settlement terms. This is certainly true in divorce. Virtually everything is negotiable and if an agreement can be reached, usually it will be approved by the Court.

However, to be an enforceable agreement it must be approved by the Court. Until such time as your agreement is reduced to writing, signed and approved by the Court, it is on iffy ground as to enforceability issues. While some issues may be contracted without Court approval in a family law case, such as property division and alimony, some issues can not be enforced absent Court approval, such as child custody related terms.

Likewise, “changing” your Court papers without Court approval is dicey. Swapping out a holiday here or a week there is not usually a big deal, but changing payment terms, amounts, or duration can lead to serious consequences if done without Court approval. Child support vests as it comes due and absent exigent circumstances cannot be forgiven.

An agreement to agree is no agreement at all.

Matthew Thompson is a Divorce Attorney and reminds you to have your Agreement approved by the Court in an Order.


Deadlines matter.

In life, there are deadlines.


1. the latest time or date by which something should be completed.
“the deadline for submissions is February 5th”
2. a line drawn around a prison beyond which prisoners were liable to be shot.
Deadlines induce stress, anxiety and even panic. Deadlines, or rather, meeting deadlines is critical to be successful in life. Projects, bills and responses have deadlines. Sometimes there may be false deadlines, sometimes deadlines may have dire consequences. Knowing the difference is key.
In law school I took Counseling & Negotiation. It was an upper level class taught by an Adjunct Professor, X.M. “Mike” Frascogna. About half way through the semester he made an offer, any student would be guaranteed a “C” if they attended the remaining classes. They did not have to take the final. I recall a student took that offer. I did not consider it.
The final required us to negotiate with the professor for our final grade. There was no set exam. Their were wild stories of students doing wild stunts to get an A. However, one of the lessons that stuck with me was either not allowing the other side to know your deadline or setting a deadline that you know would put pressure on the other side. He told the story of an international negotiation where one person let the other side know he was flying out in 4 days. They wined and dined him, showed him the sights and otherwise occupied his time for 3 1/2 days. On the last day, the traveler agreed to a worse deal because it had to be finalized that day.
Deadlines matter.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and negotiated his way to an A in Counseling & Negotiation.