Written By: Keith Grossman
In ancient Greek mythology, King Gordius tied a very complicated knot and challenged all the people to “untie the knot”. Whoever was successful would become the ruler of all Asia.
The people lined up trying to untie the knot, without success. Alexander the Great also came to untie the knot, and like the others, he was unsuccessful. He eventually grew impatient, so he removed his sword and smashed it down on the knot. With this one blow, he cut the knot in half.
King Gordius recognized Alexander the Great as the winner because although his method was unconventional, Alexander the Great achieved the result.
This story is used to exemplify that unconventional methods can be necessary to solve a problem; that we should look at a problem in more than one way.
In divorce court, when we are looking to “untie the knot”, we are typically using the sword first. We are not trying to untie it with our hands. The sword is the essence of litigation.
The Collaborative method of divorce is considered the “unconventional” way. It is the attempt to “untie the knot” with our hands. It is the attempt to patiently and persistently work out a challenge without doing damage. Our swords remain sheathed, and we are not attempting to “untie the knot” on our own; we are working together as a team.
This is the reason why Collaborative training is necessary.
As professional litigators, we are taught how to use a sword swiftly and proficiently. Every knot should be cut. Using our hands takes too long; it’s too delicate.
But Collaborative Divorce training teaches us a different goal than just untying the knot. We want to untie the knot in such a way that the whole rope can be used again in one piece, not in pieces.
This is because we are not actually untying a rope; we are untying a family. A rope doesn’t know it’s in pieces, but a family does.