This time of year there are always articles making their way around the internet about relationships and marriages.
Facebook keeps all kinds of statistics and can tell from posts where folks are in their relationships. It is fascinating to me that they can track when the relationship gets serious, and when it goes bad.
There was another interesting piece on how the “cost” of sex has lessened, and how that affects choices for men and women differently (shades of my grandmother).
The most interesting piece, though, was a rather lengthy New York Times opinion piece on how marriages have changed and how the differences affect what we expect of marriage.
Some of the heaviest divorce filing times of the year are February (after Valentine’s Day) and March. I see a lot of new clients but also quite a few clients who I had met with before, but weren’t ready to move forward with divorce when we first met.
It’s OK to get cold feet. It’s OK to change your mind, too. And if you are the initiator of the divorce you should be doing some heavy-duty soul-searching before you initiate the process. It’s one of the hardest decisions you will make.
Often it’s actually good to take the time, if you safely can, to process whether or not divorce is really what you want to do. Many times folks decide to delay divorce until the kids have left for college. Unless you are going to be the spouse paying alimony, there may be no specific economic reason for filing sooner rather than later. You should carefully consider your economic relationship. For example, would your spouse seek to hide money, should you delay filing? Or do either of you have an immediate expectation of a considerable inheritance?
The mere act of considering divorce is very tough. It is important to understand what the reality will be before you take any final steps. Sometimes the economic reality of divorce can spur reconciliation.
None of the above applies, of course, if there is ANY kind of domestic violence going on, or even threatening behavior. I think too, that absent addiction, violence or the real threat of violence, folks with kids should give marriage counseling a good try before going forward. The emotional, economic and social costs of divorce are so high for children that it is important to be very clear that the marital problems are irreconcilable before beginning the divorce process.
If you do decide to move forward with a divorce, here are some tips to help you get the ball rolling.
I’ve been out of the office for a three-week period due to scheduled vacation plus the unexpected illness of a family member. I am really looking forward to getting back to work! Keeping in touch over the Internet can only go so far, but I have been watching with fascination as two sagas unfold.
The first saga began with gossip (and boy do lawyers love to gossip about other lawyers and court personnel!) about some sort of altercation between a registrar and an employee. This serves as a reminder (not that we needed one) that the court personnel, including registrars and judges, are human too. They are all too clearly prone to the same types of mistakes and malfeasance as the rest of the world.
If your divorce gets out of hand, you’ll need to save all your pennies to cover court costs.
That leads me to the second saga: a new documentary out on divorce courts. Anyone who works in divorce law will tell you that cases can become outrageously over-expensive and over-litigated. If you read this blog regularly, you know I have complained about this before. However, it looks like the filmmakers have chosen to sensationalize and simplify circumstances to make a one-sided point.
David Hoffman, whose work I respect, has written a very thoughtful and insightful article about this documentary that you should read if you are thinking of going to see it.