I have had clients, friends and family members remark that I can discuss divorce in a very matter-of-fact way and that since I practice family law on a daily basis, maybe the personal aspects of divorce don’t bother me. I must say that is not accurate. Having practiced family law for almost twenty years, I am probably more sensitive to the personal toll of divorce than many other people. I have cried while meeting with clients and I have cried after clients have left my office.
There is no painless way to get divorced. Even if both spouses agree that divorce is the best course of action, it is a painful process emotionally, mentally and/or financially. If both spouses do not agree the divorce should happen, it can become a nightmare for everybody involved. Divorce is a huge change that affects almost everything in a person’s life.
As an attorney, I cannot make the divorce process painless. What I can do is help prepare clients for what they may experience and I can encourage them to get emotional and mental health support. I can encourage them to make decisions in ways that may reduce conflict and also work with them to avoid unnecessary negative experiences. If I know in advance certain actions my clients plan to take, I can also predict for them what I see the likely outcome to be.
I am acutely aware of the pain that all of my divorce clients are experiencing. I am also aware that I cannot let that pain unduly influence my judgment as their attorney and legal counselor. I realize it sometimes affects their decisions because ending the painful divorce process can be a motivation to reach an agreement. I do not believe that ending the pain of a divorce should be the primary motivation for reaching a specific agreement. However, ending the painful process is a legitimate consideration, as long as they realize that is part of the motivation and are making informed decisions. It’s not always all about the money.
If you live or work in the central Pennsylvania area, including Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, Harrisburg, Hershey and surrounding communities and would like to discuss divorce or any other family law or estate planning/administration issue, please contact me.