Getting a divorce can be stressful, really stressful. The lawyer you hire should, at the very least, not compound your stress. Keep this in mind when you first meet with a lawyer. That first meeting is a chance for you to evaluate the lawyer and figure out if it’s a person you think you could work with. So, ask questions. Interview him. What does he or she stand for? What is her philosophy on marriage, divorce, and coparenting?
I am a product of divorce. My parents divorced when I was a teenager. That experience was a factor in my decision to become a lawyer and practice family law. I know first-hand how traumatic a divorce can be— not just for the separating couple but for their children and other family members. Divorce is a lot more than just a legal process.
It is emotional. It is the dissolution of a relationship that once was founded on love, admiration, and bright hopes for the future.
It is financial. Each partner must consider their future on their own. For some this can be paying bills and balancing their own check book for the first time. It might mean a lot less income and financial security. It might mean taking on household chores, household maintenance, or other responsibilities previously done by their spouse.
It is far-reaching. Young children must adjust to mommy or daddy not being at home anymore. It may involve a new home, new school, or even a new town. Grandparents want to continue to see their grandchildren without getting involved in the drama and emotions. Friends may want to retain their friendships with either or both partners, but those relationships are forever changed and can become strained.
That is why we encourage a collaborative approach to divorce. We want to help you consider all aspects of a divorce, not just the legal one. We encourage you to allow us to bring in a counselor, therapist, accountant, or other financial advisor as deemed necessary, always with your approval, to help make this transition in your life as easy as possible— for you and everyone else involved.
This might even include using a mediator rather than a court to facilitate the divorce. The least amount of conflict, drama, and trauma involved, the better.
Many times, you will hear attorneys say that they will “fight” for their clients. That is not language we will ever use. We think that divorce carries enough potential for fighting without the lawyers promising it. Our goal is to bring about a divorce and settlement of differences with as little conflict as possible. But make no mistake, we are strong advocates for our clients. No one will take advantage of you while we represent you!