Divorce is often a necessary component of a marriage, but it is one of the most difficult life experiences that any of us will have to endure.
Generally, people start a divorce with a great deal of anger and fear. Those who have decided to end their marriages have taken a critical look at the relationship and have determined the marriage does not meet their needs. This does not mean the spouse is a bad person (though they may be) in most cases, it means that you are no longer “good together.” It helps a lot in the process of divorce if you can make this distinction.
Those who wish to stay married, and are taken by surprise, are just coming to terms with the reality that their life is about to change dramatically. They are also angry and afraid, for other reasons; one being that they feel they have no control over their lives. Their trust in their spouse has been shattered.
Whether the party who wants the divorce or the party who is resisting the divorce comes to my office, the client is facing a significant learning curve. My primary job is to help them achieve the curve and be patient while they undergo the process.
These people have taught me a lot.
40 years of working with divorcing couples has taught me that we attorneys have to keep our eye on the big picture. Where will the decisions our clients make today lead them in the future? Sometimes, when clients are in the middle of a divorce, they make decisions that feel good at the time. They do not consider the consequences in the long term. That is when the attorney is invaluable since they have worked with clients who have regretted immediate gain over long-term, lasting solutions. Smart clients use the resource and see divorce as a long-term process.
Divorce can take months; perhaps years to complete and achieve a long-lasting settlement. You owe it to yourself and your family to invest the time and energy into accomplishing a humane, thoughtful and loving outcome that will benefit all of you. You may not feel that this is possible at the beginning of a divorce. However, with the assistance of competent professionals, it is possible.