When I ask clients consulting me about a divorce, “Are you sure?” their expressions range from perplexed to downright disgusted. They made an appointment to meet with me to talk about divorce options. I have just spent the better part of an hour hearing intimate details about their marriage and how they wound up here in my office. And I am questioning whether they want a divorce? Really?
The decision to divorce is a serious undertaking. My practice style is to mitigate as much of the turmoil a prolonged and antagonistic divorce process brings – my clients choose to work with me because of this – but even when all parties are committed to a kinder, gentler approach, the divorce process is emotionally draining and can cause trauma. Before going down that road, I feel it is my duty to explore with my clients whether this is the right choice for them. Just as explaining the different divorce and separation options and processes available to clients is an essential part of a family lawyer’s job, so is exploring non-divorce options. I want my clients to make an informed decision, and to do so, they need to have all the options available to consider.
This article from the New York Times takes the long view on the ups and downs of marriages. It’s a worthwhile read, especially for those contemplating divorce.