Talking to a divorce lawyer can be bad for your marriage

It is really important to think twice before filing for divorce. In my experience a small but significant percentage of clients who consult us about divorce are really unsure about whether they want to end their marriage. Many clients come to us to find out “what will happen if we divorce?”  These clients are not committed to divorcing their spouses. They may be unhappy, their spouse may have threatened divorce, but marriages can survive transient unhappiness and threats of divorce. Recently a client came to me to tell about something really horrible that their spouse had done.  The client was furious and came in prepared to give us a large retainer to go to court the next morning to redress his grievance.  As strange as it may sound coming from a divorce lawyer, in our practice we have a healthy respect for the institution of marriage and make every effort to listen to our client and hear what he or she truly wants. Often it is a change in how their spouse has been treating them, or there is a temporary crises caused by work, in-laws, illness, financial distress, or addiction.  All of these things can be remedied without filing for divorce, and clients should be encouraged to make sure they are really ready to throw in the towel and have exhausted all efforts at saving their marriage. We can refer people to therapists who can be helpful. Filing for divorce, in my experience has ended a lot of marriages that my instinct tells me could have been saved. To make another analogy to medicine. If you have a backache and consult a chiropractor you will receive manipulation, if you go to a surgeon, you will receive a recommendation for surgery. A massage therapist, personal trainer and yoga teacher will all have different approaches to back pain. When you consult a divorce lawyer all they can really do for you is get you a divorce. Make sure its what you really want and need.


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